WORDEATER XXXVII STAFF:
John D„ Guse
Mark Hul factor
For this issue, to get a submission accepted,
four of the above had to vote for acceptance. For the
award winners, only John Stobart is responsible,,
Manuscripts or cover designs for WORDEATER
ITumber 39 musfc be-- submitted to John Stobart in room
C 1069 by February 26, 1982. The deadline for sub-
missions for WORDEATER Number 38 will have passed by
the time this issue is out (Nov. 23, 1981)* Manuscripts
will not be returned. They may be anonymous AND SHOULD
WINNERS FOR THIS ISSUE:
Michael A. Stillman $15
David Moore $5
R. Walser Yale $5
Len Overcash $15
David Moore $10
Cofrer Designs $20
WORDEATER 39 - February 26, 1982
40 - April 30, 1982
Thanks to all who helped collate.
R. Walser Yale
R. Walser Yale
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Sleepless Nights ....9..... ...... ».•> 1
Send Me Some Ears. . • . . . . • • « ' . • . . • . ■ • • . 1
Apple Jelly. ................ 1
Blkero o»»«».»ae#.o«oe.o.oooe»e« 1
I Now Have A Pet Fly. ......... ........ 1
Come On Over To My House 2
My Sex Is My Hex ..................... 2
Smoking Hash ...a...*.............. 2
Demons And Sweet Forgiveness ... ..... 3
My Mind Moves Faster . . . „ . . ...... 3
ixystery ............. osao.ac.0o. j
Rumblings Along the Fringe ••••«,,... 4
The Endlessness ............a 4
Existing. 00a. * . as.ae.eaa.oee.eo. 4-
I Hear A Cloud Descending 4
Full-Moon Saturdaynight Blues, . . . «, .... 5
Suckers Also Die. .... . •••••••■»•••• 5
Bohemian Poetry ... ...... ..... ...... 5
My Thoughts Tonight ........ 6
Rather Desolate. ... .. .....•••. .«•... 6
Georgia L Schimdt
Michael A. Stillman
David No Warren
Michael A, Stillman
Michael A. Stillman
Michael A, Stillman
Michael A„ Stillman
Michael A. Stillman
&» Walser Yale
-ols J. Talbot
Mary Davis son
&.«, Walser Yale
Meli ssa Wessell
Dinda IC, Horras
Adriane Say lor
Jo D„ Guse
J» D Guse
Mary Davis son
TABLE OF CONTENTS, continued
Unsung Somg In The Middle of a Tail spin
Emptiness* c„..°..°. ......
I Slept In The Solitary Purple „ . e .
The Seasons Of Our Emotions. . e „ .
Our Victim a.... .0.0.00.0
Love And Red Ink a....ooooco.
There Are Only Tragedies And Ecstasies e
When You Smile a...oo.oooo..
i- JLXClX 9 « O *>ooo«Ooroo«#co
I Climbed Inside The Corridors . . . ,. •
I Remember ...... ..........
Andy Was Very Much In Love . . . . . . o
He Loved Her More D ooaaoooe..o.
A Storie ......... .......
X V7 O j") X* 1 Ci.CS© ©00000 00 000000
Sunday Afternoon ^o.oo.oooooo
J.H.G Lt AlCG ©ooo^ftoooeoooooo
Talk To Me .,...* ... .
Dear Kose ...*....«.......
Adriane 's Sunsinger • •........
Inspiration • .... o • ....... .
A Letter To Sgt„ Brooks, .a......
Daughters Of Nyx . . . . . . ...•»; .
Barelegged We Sit . « . . .. » -. • . . .
Biology Test ..».oo.o.oaooa
The Argument a a .My Side . . . c . . .
Exile On Broadway . ... ....... . : ".
A Labyrinth Of Rooms ........a.
What Is Fear « . • « . o . « o . o » . « »
Hours Pass And All Are Weary „ . . . . .
A New Beginning a.*.........
Three Little Boys ...aaaa....
The Fate Of The Lynx ..a.......
Nihilistic New Year, o.oooo.oo.
The Devil Is a...... ......'.
Holy Hokum ..oooaooooooeo.
Riding The Rail. 0.0.0.000000
The Spider <, . .And I 0.0000000
Pirranns. ...boo.. 000000000
In The Kitchen, Waiting For Sunrise . .
1' al laoaaoo.aaooooaaoeo
Black, Dark With Yellow Slit Eyes . . .
Rainbows And Storms oe.ooao.«o
It s Raining O o»oooooooo»o»
S tO mi a a • a a a o o o o a o o o a o a
What Are They Going To Send* . . » • a s
Governmental Love . • . • • o • » » . ..
Don't Complain To Me About The Economy „
Dead Plant's Lament ......eco.
Arizona Blues oaaoooooooa.o
Fourth Of July Weekend »aooo..ao
Joliet's Finest Newspaper ......'.
BellS Ring »o.o.o..eooe.eo
1 ' e L X. C> aooooo.a.eoaooa.a
JL tie XlOxper oo ...ao.oaaaaeo
J. Oy uOlClierS ooaeoea.a.aaoo
The Adventures Of I?<w<jy Ryder „ . . e
• • *
• © o e © o
» © O O O ©
© o o © © o
© o o o
o © o o o
9 O C O
o « o •
e o o o
o ©> e
© o • •
o o o o o
e b o c ©
o o e
o © © © o o o
© © © ©
© © © o o ©
O C • P
© © o e © ©
r © ©
© o ©
© O c
o © •
O 4 9
Spiders, snakes , rats, and lice,
Beetles, ticks, mosquitoes, and mice.
They slither, they swarm, they suck, they feed,
They burrow, they bite, they nest, they breedo
They spontaneously generated inside my head
And will eat me from inside out till I'm deado
SEND ME SOME EARS
The ears are here
after many a year
of hiding and fear,
Oia horseback they come
with hooves a- thrum,
leaving behind the hill" and the dale,
the rill and the vale,
and the nightingale ,
They're here, they're here!
to hear again
the hopes of men,
too long suppressed
and put to rest
by the silencing powers
who passed their hours
binding and gagging,
boxing and bagging .
til tongues went dumb
and ear 2 fell numb
and trotted off to kingdom come.
But the ears are here
after many a year —
start up a cheer,
send out for beer —
the ears are here
Tap your fingers to your nose —
the sap is flowing
like liquid apple jelly,,
This omnipresent sneezing
travels like fleas on rats,
and your eyes are like the river —
green and dribbly.
Get your hot breath off my neck —
take it back
where it hacks and wheezes
in the netherworlds of bronchio
Let it fight its tray
through pneuraonia«*causing blockages,
and spill out in some other air
not near mine.
Tap your nose with a two-ply spigot,
and channel your infection
into the nearest wastebasket,
where it \j111 sit for days
on crusty kleenexes.
The pox be with y^u
as it was in the beginning
and ever shall be —
world without mendo
^'jtL •-* j a. f Id »X*m}* «-' -• ■-'-
4\ *\ 4\ rfV *WV <\ •*
I NOW HAVE A PET FLY
I now have a pet fly
Who is young and so spry
That I trained to be a clown.
If you pick up a swatter
He'll go hide while you totter
And come out after you put it down.
To show off his flair
When company is there
His acrobatics are now on stage*
He appears right on cue
Only to land in the stew
And bring my Mother-in-law out of her cage.
As we pick him from his blunder
We can' t help but wonder
If he deposited anything in the poto
He buzzes off with a smile.
Having eaten, meanwhile,
My company must leave on the trot.
And soon after I
Am thru training my fly
My horse will count with his legs.
And when I succeed
With that little deed
My chickens will lay boiled £ggs„
Am I to perish from microbe invasion --
tiny soldiers armed to the nucleus
with fever-inducing weapons?
said the little red nose —
my apple jelly's still congoaled,
and the parafin's still uncrrcked,
COm ON OVER TO MY HOUSE
The light fixture turns to a CT. F a and o
The carpet jumps up and bitec ray big toe.
The statue of Santa Claus chuckles with' glee,
And our cat, no a tiger, is chewing on me
The curtains they turn into pythons <, You see?
The rats and the spiders jump off of the wall ,
And that elephant there is the worst of them all,
Is all of this stuff really happening to me?
Well, hop in your car, drive over and see
MY SEX IS MY HEX
My Mother-in-law's house
is clean for her spouse
No dust, not even a specko
So my hubby will complain
about our lived- in domain
Gee, does he love to hen peclu
He doesn't know that the hitch
is that Mother-in-law's a bithh
And that's how she stays aheado
This is my place.
Where I can reveal
the truths in my heart „ |
and no one hears
Before the night has
swept the sky,
I come here,
face to face
with the real me.
This i3 my place.
This is my place,
where no restraints
are put upon me
my mind can gather answers
that no one else
Alone o o e
This is my place.
R Walser Yale
No ant with a brain,
no filth's that insane
Near her no dirt dares to treado
There's a definite characteristic
, in my husband -- he's chauvinistic
With demands like Ebeneezer would make
There's no union to back me
just hard work to crack me
And these long hours make my head ache»
What hubby doesn't see
are the fun jobs for me
That I'd turn over to him in a sec
Things he takes for granted
proves his opinion is slanted,,
It's making his poor x/ife a wreck c
While he listens to rock & roll
my head's in the toilet bowl
Since the Tidy-Bowl man is a flake »
With dish pan hands
I clean the garbage cans
That would make my pe-t. maggot: puke.
For these revolting little chores
I get n o pay — only sores
The glamcMr of marriage really fades,,
The unbalance of the sexes
for women what the- hex is
Yot i become*. .. .a }&ck~of — ■all- trade s <,
Golden, heady pollen
Toked through handcarved
Indian Rosewood or brilliant,
Brass or onyx networks
Sweet, pungent, burnitg
A knife in the chest
Melting throat and
Breath held deep
It forces its way out
Racking convulsions --
Six times as potent
As the bud,
It's a concentrated high.
And as the aromatic
Of opacity clear --
You are s toned <,
4\ 4\ 1\ t\ 4\ 4\ 4\ 4\
DEMONS AND SWEET FORGIVENESS
On U. 3. Highway 60 , Arizona:
The clouds look beautiful , smoke
lifting from the sides of bushed hills,
^riving into a cloud on a cold day in Fe'b-
ruary Q Don your winter coat again , Archie
we have passed from the desert into a rain
forest and now into the clouds. And per-
haps before the hour is up, we will set
our feet onto the first snows of our win-
ter,, Out of the clouds and on toward a
memory-town. Memory toxm '- T here we laughed
and cried and played; built fires and
baked beans. The air is sharp and clear
like a fantastic dream.
Day to day my life spreads out like
an undulating amoeba in a bowl of red
jelly, like the color of hills after time
has worn them c lowly changing with cen-
tennial mutations. I fell in love with
the house and the embodiment of my dreams.
N°w the car is moving, the clouds are mo- tall; his hairs glisten in the falling snow
ving , and ray dreams are turning as a leaf and I stop, wondering why it is the snows
in the wind, upside down and spinning. and not the falling leaves that bring him
I want to find a dream that I can to this stature,
snap on tot) of my head like an acorn cap, but that the days have been changing
so it would always be the same and I would moment by moment and the sun turns wind-
always be able to think, this is my dream. turnc snowy now today and the ground is
It's a dusty highway to travel on
searching for memories
You've got to find them,
grasp their dusty tails,
and bring them back to the light.
Four days of the fog /then/
a day in the sun.
Ladders, railings, ledgec,
SoraetiP.es a thump really knocks you
But the more you learn,
the more you can steer
your own sailboat.
The Proud Lummox stands straight and
tnis is my dream. That dream house is the
first hou"e in all my days that I loved, 1
really loved, and I thought: I want to
becoming white-flecked with tire tracks.
The trees stand with open arms where
are the birds and there was a cricket in-
walk down this steep cide nl Y kitchen this morning, driven in by
this mailbox ond I t * 1G ^ ce on ^ c windshield. I look out the
live here, I want to
winding sidewalk to
want to look out this window every morningY indou and l see smw fallin S s flakes flying
sit at a desk here with my friend, my type-
writer U P on top of this hill overlooking
city lights, winding streets, cars driving
by like tiny visions in children's books,
how deep are your dreams?
how deep and how
beneath miles and miles
and years and years
of forbidden hopes.
and glistening, and the weeds shudder.
Does the wind forget that there was Spring
yesterday, that there were tiny leaves
popping up in delicate surprise? The
sky is gray and confused with this pass-
ing of seasons. One today, another to-
morrow, and all of them turning, turning,
slowly becoming different every day. So
I will become the winter today, if that
is my challenge. I will become the Proud
Lummox firmly standing with hooves placed
in geometric planes.
A -A-A -A -A' ft 'A-ft
More than once the eagel screamed
across the crystal sky.
More than once the monarch soared
across the endless breeze.
More than once my soul leaped
but was earth bound.
Be still you searcher
do not protest.
Earth's illusion is but a specie.
Do not c'ssire
For you'll know less
in a while.
The tears careen across the face.
Life's dreams are recalled.
The beat of the heart is not true.
It isn't that simple,
For pain will last until
The very end.
MY MIND MOVES FASTER
My mind moves faster than the eye.
when it comes to emotions, that is.
Snuggling down into sensations,
then defensively standing so upright again.
All the ups and downs keep me
alert for good measure.
Spiralling back and forth,
I call out your name in a dream.
-'-*.'- - ' - ^ r - . i _ « o». • * fc r . .
RUMBLINGS ALONG THE FRINGE Cathie Durkee
We who rule the megaphonic vanguard
Shall not be wounded by wordless deeds
And faceless fiends. Nor would we be fooled TTL , ^ _ „. ' ._
t,,,, , ... j. , , why can't I rind the word;
By blank and giobenng facades and ruses „ ., . . _ . .
T ...... i . , i . ■> i <• *.,-*. To explain ny recent fate?
Instmcrively projected to hide the fact that _ , . , , .
,, -, ._ 1. 1 ii -i I have ranrea and raved.
Your souls are as empty as bloodless turnpikes _. . , .,
TT , J _. ,,,.,. . ,. , ^ •/-• 1 The tears do not wash away the pain.
Where the black limosmes of the stereotype God
No longer roam in search of programmable flockso x . . . ., . n
i o I am stuck in chis place
_., , , , , Where my soul feels cold
Oh stare at the wayfarers who are sprawled , . - , .. . - . , . .. ,
t ... , , ., .. ,- T . r . , As lr death's angel had visitedo
In a ditch by the side of Life's road, , T , , , . ° _
TT , ixn I dead or alive?
We are not alone
But of all those coreless masses of defense mechanisms , .•.....,.
/wv /C /'www* Wf
Only we have the strength to rudely cry outo
But fear not
We slowly sink into the soft and fleshy swamps
Bubbling with the sorrows of dead and dying souls*
Our emotional underbellies glittering whitely in the sunlight
Ready for gory guttings
As we gently float
Capsized and limply leaking.,
Here lies Hope
Yes s Hope is a liar
I HEAR A CLOUD DESCENDING
I hear a cloud descending ,
its grayness crashing in my silence
like a head-on collision
in the countryside at night,
I feel a cloud hovering over my head,
its center composed of harpstrings,
too tautly pulled j
ready to spring haywire In my hair
and whip my face,
cutting long , thin bloodthreads in my skin*
The cloud at my shoulder
roars deceptions in my ear,
like the villain in a melodrama,
But ; yes ~-
this is a melodrama,
sprung forth from ny imagination
by a masochistic trigger called "creative destruction,"
which is, after all,
not very creative
but only a minor disturbance
generated in my mind
and blown out of proportion
for the moment „
Have you seen the timeless seekers When all is ignorantly cuivcv.1
Twisting the eons into wicked spheres All topsy-turvy and in a flux
That constantly swirl 'round a center That hides the sameness..
They don't even know exists,, "Four dimensions have we
They warp and wrap last week's mllleniA and many more that you can't see.
Into a seemingly endless cycle Infinite time to be free
That vibrates with a.wfa.1 ^tgony Wh&n you drift the mindless sea,"
Cramped and confuted
Grasping foa- the terminal line ********
FULL-MOON SATURDAYNTGHT BLUES
Big ol' peachy-colored, Saturdaynight moon
set up high
in a royally blueblack sky
makes me start to thinkin
of wink en and blink en
and moon-shaped glasses without any rims
perched on a nose so long and so thin —
"So long; nasal -voiced songster
whining a Mr, Moonlight tune„"
Those liquid beams get drippy
and soak into my soul
on this othervn.se
dry, sighing, dying nighto
I listen to the soundwaves crackle
through my triple-speakered car radio,
vibrating that "Hey Jude" melody —
"take a sad song and make it
better „ »"
while my heart gets wetter
from star- tears seeping
through the dark glassly,
A hooded stranger points a bony finger
that lingers in a stop- frame gesture,
and a ghostly chill speaks in the wind
of crossing rivers
in drizzly depths of despair,,
Yet, the pears — yellow, sweet and juicy,
rest in a basket on a bastard's knee
and I can't see the simile
touted before me
like grapes to the fox„
Don't worry baby,
everything 5 11 turn out sour,
I te-"-! myself —
there aint no lower
I can go ,
so I'll sit and pitch my woe
to all who'll listen and soon forget,
but it don't matter anyhow*
It's only the moon —
big ol' peachy-colored,
Saturdaynight moon —
that makes me feel as royally blue
as I do.
R, Walser Yale
As I page through
A Wordeater —
I can see
How many people
Think like me
But feel sudden
When I pore over
Now writing too fast --
That incessant echo I
So what then
Separates it from
Plain recorded thought?
Well , for me
As the chaos subsides
I try desperately to respond
To all the ideas
Flying around my cranium
Then encoding these ideas
I set the word upon the page.
SUCKERS ALSO DIE
In satin suits
Patterned with a thousand diamonds
Climb the ropes
And stand on platforms
High above the crowds,
Twinkling in the spotlights
Like fairy princesses in storybooks o
They sparkle and glitter
Like their smiles „
They are stars shining in our midst —
Cone to root \/±thin our' three- ring viniort.
Why is it
My eye lingered too long
On the wrinkles
Under the thick, face paint,
The grease on the silky costumes,
The filth at the hems.
And the dirt, dirt, dirt,
When all I really wanted,
Was to believe i
W THOUGHTS TONIGHT
My thoughts tonight
are like the mobs that crowd the subways
in an August afternoon rush hour«
Like bodies pushing, shoving, being squeezed, compressed,
teeming, seething in underground tunnels too small for containment,
yet somehow managing to Accommodate,
my brain if full of unfinished statements and parts of phrases
jumbled together incoherently*
This massed confusion,
like throngs in a new Babylon tower,
stretched out lengthwise under the streets,
steams and sweats in its electric-lit cavern,
where individuals are not complete —
only parts of a whole,
yet there are come,
seen for mere seconds and notedo
One gesticulates wildly,
waving his arms in heated conversation,
beads of saltwater dribbling down his face,
down his grimy, city neck,
crusted outlines ringing damp crescents
on his jacket- forsaken dress shirto
Another sits limply on a bench-
like a ragdoll left out in the rain,
her droopy, listless limbs
hanging haphazardly from her torso*
Here, a sparkling, goldenstockinged one
in scarlet spike-heeled shoes
and black satin thighslit dress, shouts out,
"look at me, look at me,"
but there is nothing beneath the frippery
but more gaudy emptinesso
There, a gray-garbed man
with wrinkles in his skin
to match the number of minutes in his life,
tries to melt into the walls
as he gasps for air in the oppressive humidity,,
Unfinished portraits in the mob
wait patiently for the train,
no more important than the rest,
except that they were remembered,
and I sense an insurrection simmering.,
/* /< <\ *V *V 4* s\
(1T0 FISHING — REPRISE)
Empty beaches in the sun
Where the people have no fun
Winds blow high
Through the air
Where no birds fly
Along the shore
Flooding the graves
Of faded slaves
Dead fish bodies
In the sands
With forgotten lands
And out in the ocean
That dreadful deep
Where nothing dies
They only sleep
UNSUNG SONG IN THE MIDDLE OF A TAILSPIN
and under a spell
caught in all over and
stuck in the game,
Feeling better, then worse, then tossed in a
corner and singing the words to some
old song; babe, it's a heck of a life
Drowning and achey, then tossed in a
sling, and then for a spell getting
smiling again; oh babe, it's a heck of a life,, EMPTINESS
Every road •that I take it's got What is this coldness
too many turns, every rule A not met place
that I break it's got too many Of steel, gray and black
burns; babe, it's a heck of a life c
What makes it lodge
III Upon the chest
My feelings are fried Stuck like peanut butter
and I'm weary and beat.
Wanna close myself off now What could this be
and turn myself down. Not caring, not feeling
Don't you step on my Emptiness at its ultimate
tracks , you dirty no-good
cold-headed clam e There has to be a reason
Your hands may be pure The velvet is gone
but your soul is so black, Softness, gentleness lost
and black hearts bleed pale prices.
Life can not exist like this
******** Death's silence there
Not a feeling remains
I SLEPT IN THE SOLITARY PURPLE
I slept in the solitary purple,
where I Was blind and deaf
and could not speako
I had naught but nakedness
and could not fight the expulsion
that ripped me from contentedness ,
and so, I was given death,
which is called, "life", I om whole again,
My face glowed red I breathe without obstruction,
as I watched the evening sun jr I think, see, create,
splatter the horizon with blood, but also feel —
I felt warmth draining from my veins, and remembero
being replaced XTith something cold Would that these vivid recollections
and sweatbeads stopped on my forehead, become as scrub-mopped floors,
turning to ice with the chillo swabbed in all the forgotten corners,
I waited for the night, and replaced with
as a chimney sweep cried on a rooftop, an antiseptic fragrance —
lone and unappreciated, the perfume
and a thousand sunsets crept into my heart, of misbegotten memories,,
armed with weapons for the slaughter.
There was no turning back, ********
nor any escape on the forward path,
I was pierced with spears,
the wounds screaming as my soul gushed forth
and festering pus knitted the gaping gashes together.
Georgia L. Schmidt
THE SEASONS OF OUR EMOTIONS
Emotions are like the changing
of the seasons.
They can be warm,
bright and carefree like the summer, having no
obligations or commitments „
They can be very colorful
like autumn s and have a crisp spicy
twist of indifference
Then like atutumn one can
be caught off guard by a sudden chill
followed by the death of nature and its beauty
Then the winter follows cold,
distant and isolated,, Yet, there is that
uneirplainable peace during the winter months
Like a love that dies ,
away in the fall, one is comforted by a
blanket of snow to regenerate o.ne's
feelings and emotions.,
Then after this period
of blissful isolation, we can be like
the spring, and start fresh and anew.
Granted s the rains will fall, and the winds
will blow. But, this will only help us to dig
our roots down deeper, and we will grow
stronger and healthier*
We will then discover that we
are alive in our feelings;
That our personality will
be inviting like the green of the leaves.
That our attitude will
be fresh and fragrant like the beautiful
spring flowers o
We will also find that
we have a quiet free-spirited conscience,
like that of a butterfly or dove.
We will then be attributed with an
eagerness to reproduce the beauty of nature c
And then, once again
life goes on like the changing of
You knew from the beginning
that life would treat you fine
flirt around with every boy
"and drink a little wine
Oh yes, how you loved to play
you knew you could not miss
to be the one with lots of dates
you only had to kiss
Popular you did become
but kissing was a bore
boys said that to date again
you had to do some more
You sxfore your full allegiance
to booze, drugs, rock-n-roll
so you let them squeeze your breast
so you could smoke a bowl
Parties come and parties go
with joints and euchre decks
upstairs at such a party
was where you first tried sex
After that on any night
from boys you'd get a call
asking if you would come out
so with you they could ball
We all took our turns with you
and though I've never said
now that I remember it
you weren't that good in bed
Your mattress was our castle
and on it, we were king
because there, at our request
you would do anything
After many months of this
at last you came to feel
that 3?-ou were the one who was
messed over in the deal
LOVE AND RED INK
The blood red of my pen strikes the
wall and bounces off onto the carpet. My
wife walks in and screen o bloody murder.
I reply, "It's only red ink dear." She
does not hear and goes on screaming vio-
lently. I pick up a steak knife and her.
"There, that's what real blood looks like.
OK?? Stop your bloody screaming will you?"
I clam the door and head downtown to buy
another red Bic.
P.S. This message brought to
you courtesy of a red
Then one night it happened
no farther would you go
the prick beside you could not
believe that you said NO
He still took what he wanted
he took it all by force
and so you learned the terror
of held down intercourse
After your violation
you never were the same
for now you bore the burden
of earned and unearned shame
But look back at your life Babe
I'm sure that 3'ou will find
before he raped your body
■&& all had rap^d yov.r mindo
£HERE ARE ONLY TRAGEDIES AND ECSTASIES
There are rnily tragedies and ecstasies
as tine passes
and my life dies by the clock.
All the rest is forgotten
in a J»lur of sameness,,
So sadly they homogenize, *
the days not made distinct by some specific evento
So poignantly unparticular,
the lazing afternoons
that melt yellow into yellow — ... , , , _ ._„
*!.• *. -u v ,.1- Michael A. Stillman
wnen nothing seems to change but the date*
They slip by unnoticed
like rapidly-flipping calendar pages FLICK
in an old movie*
Could I but remember When the wind came
one unspecial day. And when we were running with the weather
would I return to relive it? When your mind changed
No. In the shady depth set adrift
Even though Emily Webb, chose one A stripe flickered golden
by Mr, Wilder' s whim. Swallowed by changing skies
I would not, Floated in Autumn rivers
for I thrive in my extremes When the night cane
and drown in similarities — You held my breath and my heart slowed
but I hear there are some And you got up and walked away.
content with patterns and predictability,
who flow through their everydays ********
with peace in their souls,
expecting nothing more than the day before,
and I envy them —
but would not trade places
were it possible,,
I CLIMBED INSIDE THE CORRIDORS " . .
I climbed inside the corridors search- hurt between words behind eyes beside
ing for directionality, Treading too sentences. Hurt, And can I make it up
cautious to make any mistakes, and boun c to you? Will you forgive?
and fettered in gravelike escape. ArCd You just can't have as much fun as
twisting and turning under turrets and you want to: you just can't have all
avenues I avoided blunders. Too late to that much fun. If it isn't the censor
l'-ugh and too early to listen. That was bureau (your own or someone' else' s) ,
a while ago. it's disappointments and deflated ima-
Then in September I hurt you and I ginings. And time spread out so lan-
didn't mean to smart. Didn't mean to be guoroucly I barely heard the difference,
so dumb and see your eyes so redly un- Look at your laughter, now look at your
veiled. Don't want to think of your gen- love; look at sweet round faces bloom-
tie heart hurting, but I see your wounds ing beside you. What you lack in depth
and I am shy in my sorrow, you may win in surprise.
It will take time to mend the strings
I broke. Time and showing y^u over again,
I value your love, I value your heart.
And I heard your words spoken out clearly:
WHEN YOU SMILE
When you smile I can't get enough,
your eyes twinkle, and I could die of an overdose
your mouth shows a wrinkle' without efhen cai-lng.
or two When you don't smile,
and you are tantalizingly aaJvcttwi you'ire so uhaingular»
Without even trying* Your face is Bull,
When I talk to you, you seem dead',
I wa*t to make you lau/vU a»J laugh., and I could pass you in a crowd
because when you IsugA, without even noticing.
your Brail e is so alive,
stretch pants with snap-off straps
and ski sweaters that matched exactly,
ratting my hair
and spraying it hard
so the wind didn't have a chance,
lining my eyes with black ,
and coloring my lips with a pink
that was so light,
it was almost white,
but not quite,,
I wore Chanel Number Five,
which I bought regularly
with the earnings I made
afc my dollar-an-hour, part-time, sign-writing job,
and on frosty, fall Fridays,
ANDY WAS VERY MUCH IN LOVE
Andy was very much in love. He had
asked Sue to marry him
several times, but she
refused. It was spring
time and once again Andy proposed to Sue.
just as it was beginning to get dark, "I'll marry you, but only under one
I put my sixteen-year-old self together condition," Sue said, Andy would
for you. have agreed to anything.
You were new then — "That you give me a sleeve job after
a scrub-faced stranger we're married," Sue explained,
with sP'-.ck-backed, black hair Andy was ecstatic. He made the pro-
that puffed in a p° n padour mise, took her out to buy a ring and cele-
just like Phil Everly's, brate. Afterwards, he
and I didn't yet speak to you any haphazard thoushts, floated home dreaming of
but chose words carefully,
while trying to bee
in the cold s crisp
our breaths making puffs in the air,
and hot chocolate too hot to drink,
that was more water than chocolate,
and the taste of Salem cigarettes —
another new habit I'd acquired.
We were new then —
we said "please" and "thank you,"
and "ef'cuse me,"
hid some things to make our "good" look better
and struggled to make clumsy kisses
seem practiced and perfect,
but not too.
I wouldn't have said it was love,
but something was there —
and whatever it was ,
I can still feel it
on co° 1 sutumn n <rnings.
their future together.
He drove his car into the driveway of his
home, and was about to alight when it
dawned on him. He didn' t know what a
sleeve job was. The thought only bother-
ed him for a moment. "I know, I'll ask
my Dad," he said to no one. "He told me
the facts of life. I'm sure he'll tell
me what a sleeve job is."
The next morning when Andy came doxm-
stairs for breakfast his father was sit-
ting in the front room readiic the paper.
"Ah, Dad. Sue has accepted my proposal,
however, I need you to answer a question
Sure I'll answer any questions
you might have." Andy's father was very
relieved that Andy was finally going to
Andy smiled shyly. "Could you tell
me what a sleeve job is?"
His father threw down the newspaper,
jumped up from the chair, back handed him
across the face and said, "Don't you ever
talk that way in this house again, or I'll
disinherit you." And he stormed out of
Andy was upset by this scene. He ran
from the house, got into his car and drove
around for .awhile. Then he thought about
his older brother Pete. If anyone knew
the answer to this question, Pete would.
He pulled into a parking spot near his
brother's apartment and used his key to
o V5i the door.
Andy Was Very Much in Love, continued
Pete was dressing when Andy walked in.
Once again he told of his upcoming marriage
and then explained, "The only problem is
she wants me to give her a sleeve job when
we're married, but I don't know what a
sleeve job is,"
Ke no sooner got the words out of his
mouth when Pete grabbed him by the shirt ,
threw him against the wall, and slugged
'him in the moutho
"Get out of here, and don't you ever
come back again.," Pete pushed him out the
door and slammed it in his face.
Dejectedly, Andy walked to his err.
He looked up at the window of Pete's apart-
ment, shook his head, and got in. He
wiped the blood from his nouth and drove
to Sue's house. He was about four blocks
away when he happened to see Dave and some
of their friends outside of Dave's house
working on a car, Andy pulled into the
"Dave's been around. Maybe he or one
of the other guys know the answer," he
thought as he got out of the car. He
walked up the driveway and was hailed by
his friends. They had all attended school
together and knew each other well,
Andy told them of the engagement and a
beer was presented into his hand. They
made plans for a fun-filled bachelors'
party when Andy spoke up,
"Listen, I have one problem, " The
guys gathered around, "Sue wants
me to give her a sleeve job after we're
married," Luckily, Andy was fast on
his feet. One person grabbed a tire
iron, another a crow bar, and the
third a set df chains, and were in hot
pursuit. They managed to put a few
dents in Andy's new Chevy before he
peeled out of the driveway,
Andy was more confused than ever,
"What's all this about," he asked him-
self. He started to drive towards Sue's
again when it dawned on him, "If I
marry her, she'll have to tell me what
a sleeve job is,"
Several xreeks later, Andy and Sue
were married. After the reception, they
went to a hotel in a nearby town, Andy
was changing his clothes in the bedroom
in anticipation of what was to come.
In the meantime, Sue was in the bath-
room ready to take a bath. She stepped
into the bath tub, slipped, fell, and
hit her head on the side.
On the way to the hospital , she died.
How many times
have I done my thinking
with my crotch?
And told the same old lies?
HE LOVED HER MORE
How many times
have I faced the morning
beneath the cold white sun?
How many times
have I done it again
that life held more than this?
How many times
must I drink myself sick
for sins I cannot name?
How many times
will the thought of you (BITCH)
fill me with
the hate of undead love?
It seems strange
months and lovers later
I 3till find
jLt's to your ghost I speak.
more than he'd
loved any woman.
She would moan and
cry so sweetly, yet
she'd never say a
word. There was
no bitching from
this mamma — only
the trembles from
her sweet vibrations.
He picked her up and
held her gently in his arms.
It was as if her weight were
an extension of his limbs and
when he touched her their edges
fused. His fingers danced gracefully
along her strings,
I couldn't see his hands move
from one place to another but
watched them arch along her neck
in cadences of rapid succession.
His hands moved up and down her
curves and she sang him songs
so sweet and fine.
She was his love, true and pure.
No cheating heart or wondering
eyes. His beautiful goddess, and he
loved her more than he loved
any other woman.
David N. Warren
You untamed bitch,
You always think you can hitch,
On a shadow of another,
After this one just lefto
Are you tru t ;hful
On the wiys you tell a story,
Or do your lines
Juct start a storie for us all?
Do you slip back
When you feel you're falling,
When a troubled day
Starts falling on you?
Storyteller , you're always on the run.
Storyteller, where you started
You should not have begun.
Storyteller, you don't tell it
In rhythm or rhyme »
Storyteller, they caught you this tine.
You always seem to live
On that same old game,
Adding more everyday,
Thinkin' people believe and rely on you.
Well maybe one day
You will see who's the foolo
You seem to make life
Seem just like a play,
Adding what you want,
And what you don't, you take away.
Do you wonder why
They smirk in your face,
Laugh behind your back,
And crack jokes everyday?
Oh, why do they call you names?
Storyteller, yoy're always on the run.
Storyteller, wfe re you started
You should not have begun.
Storyteller, you don't tell it
In rhythm or rhyme ,
Storyteller they caught you this time,
slapped together with mortar
in the middle of a wall.
in the middle of the all,
yet changing color with age,
taking on dispositions
through the seasons' turnings
one into the other.
As the years pass,
and the weather beats their faces
taking away forever
the vestiges of nexmess,
it smootho s out their rough
but ah I
the mortar also crumbles
little by little,
and one wonders
what holds them together —
Yet the time dissolves
into memories —
some sweet, some bitter —
and there is always
or the wrecking ball.
Michael A, Stillman
A battle-worn sword
Is all that time has kept
To tell of a life.
Lay the blade near your heart
And it will tell you a tale
Of a day when a knight
Would put his life to the test
And a man would ask God
To decide what was right
History can't recall his name
But we call him sir.
He defended the crown
And came home to his lady
With a golden bi-ow.
Where is he now?
Yet his lady lives on
In the heart of a maiden
Living her tt/entieth spring
On butterfly wings-
I look in her eyes
Knowing I carried our crest
In a battle
She doesn't remember.
When I whisper of our life
I hear the horn's echo,
Calling the brave to fight„
We unfux-1 the silk banner
And defend what's right.
Our king is in front
On a steed shining and white
Like the foam on the brook
Or £be- look in his eye*
Sunday Afternoon, continued
He' £3 been awake all night
Preparing for dawn
A gaunt face drawn and weary
But a heart that fights on
The enemy surrounds us now
And our forces are few„
X^nen I draw ray last breath s
It will be for my king
And my Lady„
She touches my arm..
"Where were you?"
I was lost in her eyes:
a reverie of colour
golden and green
that expanded and burst
like a bubbling dream
But where am I now?
VV 4\ if\ *\ /V VW* **
I tried to walk across the frozen lake
And just as the ice started to crack
A hand came from the darkness
and saved me
Then the sun came and melted the ice
and darkness --
I knew I had found somethi ng
Was this an endless love?
Seasons changed and so did we
I tried to preserve the warmth
but your leaves fell farther from me„
You fell on fresh greener grass,
I had lost the warmtho
I stand on the lake again and try
The ice is cracking again — • I fall into
No one is there,, I sink into the cold.
I wonder where your warmth is now B
Will the sun ever shine again?
/v 7* "Z* ** *wv *» *v
Judy Bel field
TALK TO ME
Talk to me —
even in a daydream
or a passing thought;
cause I'm feeling so desperate today
and I'm building .
a dangerous dividing wall
between me and the world,
putting up the bricks one at a time
Talk to me.
Say me something of you
and I will grab it
like a starving beggar
and cram it in my moutho
Without regard to Emily Post,
I will let its juices stain my chin,
for I can taste your voice,
and it is the exquisite
sweetsour candy that I crave,,
Talk to me.
I don't care what you say
or how you say it —
only that you do;
it will make the next minute
and less alone »
Michael A„ Stillman
I've been thinking about our rela-
tionship,, Obviously, there's no way we
can salvage it now, but I'll always remem-
ber our days together, and the mnmniaries
I'll leave behind,, Remember when we first
met? I asked about the message on your
t-shirt, and you said that it was in
braille. I thought that you were fibbing
until later, after I nibbled on your ear-
lobes and cut my lips on those Eiffel
Tower earring s„ The first time I called
you on tho phone, yan said that I gave
you good vibrations. What was that
whirring noise in the backg round? A cou-
ple of months later my heart was touched
when you reached out and called me on
vacation, all the way from Florida, My
wallet was touched when you reversed the
Remember when you invited me over for
some "hot frenching"? I was surprised to
find out that you meant a gourmet dinner.
Dear Rose, continued
You were always such a crepe, dile tears (to match vour complex-
Later I turned out the liqht, ion, I auess) , I wondered why did
we hissed, and I tingled all over, I tolerate you for so loner, t rrue^s
Then I realized that I still had my I might have a serious masochistic
finger in the socket. You said that streak in me
you had a soft tonaue, but vou never The sexiest thina that vou
mentioned those hard teeth. The
next morning I asked if you were
on the pill and you said, "Oh no,
I get a balanced diet."
Perhaps the last straw was
when vou had the nerve to call and
ask me to nick up some douche on the
way over. I asked what kind, and
you said, "industrial strenqth." p
When I told vou that I was lea-
ving, and vou cried all those croco-
could do would be to turn vour hack
Par ewe 11
still have vour tooth-
Jddy Bel fie Id
Michael A. Stillman
ADRIANE ' S SUNSIWWR
He stands bronzegolden,
waiting for Apollo's cbariot
to race across the sky
and herald the coming of day.
He, a tempered Phoebus,
a god cast in metal,
fashioned by hands
skilled in the turns
and curves of sinew,
bears himself with pride
on thick, steelv legs —
a motionless sentinel
regarding the horizon
for the first sians of light,
for the daystar
throucrh manmade eyes ,
so that he might aive voice
to a silent serenade.
I will sinq vour song for vou
and all will hear,
and know the sun is nicrh
by the resonance of passion
that escapes my lungs
and bursts forth over the fie
echoinq through, the tall err as
and beyond ,
unto the ends of the sea.
I will be vour ladylove —
the one vou will not need or
when I brush your slowly warm
with a soft, sudden kiss.
Take mv trembling hand
Walk me through this land
Let the sun shine on my face
gj.ve me answers to embrace
And a hriqbt-eyed maiden
Rloodbeats poundincr throucrh my head
A thousand marchina boots atread
The fickle wheel of fortune clicks
a era in
The empty eyes of manv watch it snin
Her bandana torn
A vow unsworn
In the lady's eyes you see vour name
The fallout of your dreams
ablaze in flame
Ideals grow older
Pon't use the die
but keep on with the name
Sgt. F. brooks
Hilton Po lice Station
Dear Sgt, Brooks V
I am sorry that I'm writing to in my heart I knew somethina was
you rather than comina to see vou in wrona, S^t. Brooks. If t^ore is
person? Hat I am afraid. Police love between two oeoole, that is not
stations scare me and the police aska natural reaction toward closeness.
a lot of auestions, hut never seem And later that ni^ht, when he
to let you answer them. I am afraid suT-ested a few arotesaue alterna-
you would not let me tell you ev- tives to our simple, aentle love-
erything that happened — that you making-, I got sick to my stomach.
At that time-/ I thought it was iust
that he had had. too much to drink
at our reception , since that was
the. first time I had seen him drink-
ina booze since I met him. I was
it was cheap. able to talk him out of those ideas
money at the he had that niaht, but as the
months rolled by* he became more
and more insistent and forceful in
his perversions, especiallv as he
began drinkina more and more. It
swasn-'t until months later that his
would not hear me out. I did not
mean for things to happen the' way
they did. I don't want to spend
the rest of my life in jail.
I rented the townhouse at
1313 Grossmoor because
I didn't make a lot of
small office where I worked. I
needed a place to live because I
left my husband. I had to leave
him. I couldn't take any more.
When I married Jim ~ this was. .Tim'
second marriage.; — I was the hap-
piest airl around. How could- any-
thing that started out so beautiful
nd up so rotten? It wasn't always
«£hat way, Sgt. Brooks. Before we
aot married, Jim was the kindest,
most polite person a airl could
ever hope to meet. He escorted
me to nice restaurants, ran to
open doors for me, bought me roses.
And when we drove anywhere, Jim
would always say, "Come sit next
to me. I can't bear to be apart
from you -— - not even here in the
car." He was so sweet and gentle
Sgt. Brooks, how could I have
been so naive? I was worse than
naive, I was downriaht blinded.
I should have seen warning sians,
there must have been something that
would have given me a clue to what
was to come. Actually, thinkina
back, the first clue came on our
wedding day. We were leavina to
go on a weekend honeymoon, and when
I got into the car, I slid over to
sit next to Jim iust as he always
insisted I do. But, when I did,
he shoved me away I Re actually
pushed me so hard that I slid back
across the seat riaht into the
door and hurt my arm. "net away
from me," he said, "Do you always
have to be sittina on top of me?"
I was shocked and hurt, but I told
myself that he was just nervous
because of the excitement of the
weddincr and all. But, deep down
mother finally told me that he was
an alcoholic. He was "on the wa-
aon™ at her insistence at the time
I met him. She had felt that he
could have a better chance of
"findina a nice airl and settling
down again" if he staved away from
the alcohol. But, alcohol was
in his blood, and the more he drank,
the more violent he became. He
beaan breakincf thinas in the house,
and. throwing £hinos. And when he
was mad at me, he would beat me --
hitting me on the head mostly, and
kickina or hittina me on the knees
with a stick. "Call the nolice,"
he used to say, "and tell them I
nave you that bruise
You can ' t prove it .
in your, face!" If I
that he still could
on your knee.
had known then
be arrested for
beatina, maybe I would have called,
but I believed him that they * 7 ould
lauah at me. I felt I was trapped.
So I continued to live with him
and to go to work every day, ^or
he insisted I work. I had to work
to pay the bills because his pay-
check went for booze. He even kept
a bottle under his pillow. And I
continued to slave around the house,
for Jim was very demand. ina about
housekeenina. There were many
nights I had to ao without sleep
in order to keep up with the cookina
and clean ina and laundry and aoino
to work every day. And when I was
sick, Jim was even more denandina
he would, sav, "You're not really
"You're not renllv
Sergeant Brooks, continued
sick, you're iust tryino to get out "Where are vnu, Holly, Come
of doing the housework . " Once I out, come out wherever vnu are. I
asked Jim to please help me do some-know you're here because I heard
thing -- even iust take out the gar-noises. Come on, Follv, vou can't
baoe 7 nlease I don't feel good, hide forever." Then the closet door
But Jim just said, E 'If you want the flew onen and I stopped breathing,
damn garbage out of the kitchen? I My heart started leaning and ^nun^-
know a good nlace vou could put it. ina until I could hear the nounr 1 -
You could shove it up your ass!' : ina echoing thoruah the house. I
And Jim thought that was really fun-waited for him to puII me out from
ny and he walked away laughing, under the blankets, but, finally,
And so I ran away. And I look-the closet door closed. I could
ed for a nlace to live and I found hear him moving around the bedroom,
the townhouse on Crossmoor. I then finally leavina back toward the
thought I was lucky to be alive. Sot", kitchen.
Brooks. I wanted nothina more than "Well, I guess I'm oettino the
to be alone and pull myself back to-DT's or something. This calln for
gether again. So, earlier this eve-a drink. I know that dumb tea-
ning, I made a hot cup of tea and drinking bitch doesn't have any good
snuggled up in rav bed. to read and stuff around here. Coor" thing I car-
relax. And then I heard him. rv a small suppIv for iust such emer-
I heard the noises at the front^encies. "
door and I shut off my bedroom li^ht Then I heard more noises, but
and listened. I was scared, Sot. they were muffled and I couldn't
Brooks, and when, a few seconds la- hear clearly. It sounded like he
ter, I heard the door onen, I start-was still talking, but I couldn't
ed to shake all over. I knew he hadauite make out what he was saving,
found me. "Looks like my sweet lit-I careful ly crept out from under the
tie wife isn't home," I could, hear blankets and, still on my hands and
him talking to himself. "Probablv kneen, I reached up to open the
out whoring around on her dear lo- closet door a little so I could hear
ving husband. Ha, ha, ha. well, what he was saving. I was honing he
that's all right, I'll just sit was getting bored and was croinn to
down and wait to give her the sur- co find a bar to ouzzle in. Then I
prise of her li^e." could get out of there and go to
I could, hear him moving around, the nolice.
Sgt. Brooks, so I decided, to call As I opened the closet door,
the police. My phone was on the ta-l could still hear muffled voices
ble next to the bed, but I was a- and I realized he was talkino to
fraid he would hear me, so very someone, but I couldn't figure out
slowly I got out of bed. I picked who.
up the phone and cautiously carried "Don't worry. She noes through
it into the closet. I closed the these fits ouite often. When they
closet door and sat down on some get worse, she has to back to the
blankets I had stored in the corner loonev bin for awhile. Paranoia,
of the floor. I carefully dialed I think they call it. But, don't
the police emergency number and worry, I'll see to it that she won't
when they answered, I whisoered, bother you again. As a matter of
"This is an emergency. My name is fact, I'll guarantee iti Yef?» than]
Holly Martin. My address is 1313 you, officer. Ccod nioht."
Crossmoor. A man has broken into The nolice!
my house. Please come quickly." They did understand ^v phone
But the voice at the police station call and they came! And now thev
said, "Lady, please sneak up, I were ^one! And Jim knew I was there .
can't understand, you." So I tried I've got to get out of here guick!
to speak slower and more distinct* 3 The window! I've got to get this
ly. I said, "Please, I am in dan™ window o^en. He'll kill me, I
ger. 1313 Crossmoor, Martin." know ^g will. It's opening, I think,
Put, just then I hear^ a noise so I thank Cod. Ouch, ooucb.
hung up. I could hear him moving a- Yes, Sgt. Brooks. He found me
round and. I realized he was look- trying to get out of my bedroom win-
ing around the house so I hid mvselfdow,, Re came un behind me, grabbed
and the phone under the blankets ancme by the hair and jerked me back
tried to null down some clothes into the room, nitchino me onto the
from the hanireirs above me to heln bed.
concea] me. "Coino somewhere, bitch? " he
Sergeant Brooks, continued
said. "Thought you could net away
from me again, huh?" He slapned me
across the face. "Where the hell
were you hiding;, huh? You miqht
as well get through that thick
skull of yoursthat you aren't goina
to get away from me ! " Then he got
sarcastic. "Now is that any way
for a loving wife to treat her lo-
ving husband? Why", I even missed
you! Ha/ ha, ha/ ha, ha. Want to
kiss and make up? 58 He seized my
arms and dragged me toward him.
He smelled of booze and reeked
of sweat and filth. I turned a-
way from him. He grabbed me by the
"What's the matter? Ain't
I good enough for you anymore?
Mighty fancy lacy pajamas you have
on. bid you buy them for a new
boyfriend to see? Well, your hus-
band wants them off I"
I wanted to throw up. I said
to him, "Please, Jim, just no away
and leave me alone. I haven't
loved you for a lona, lona time.
Please, I just want a t divorce. "'
! 'A divorce? I "11 'kill you
first. Nobody divorces me I"
Sgt. Brooks, that's when my
mind started to piece together
some facts. I sputtered, "Jim -—
your first wife — the car acci-
dent — how did the accident really
"Shut up you stupid bitch! v
"Achh, my throat, Jim, I can't
breathe ! "
Jim was probably just tryina
to scare me, Sft. Brooks, but I
guess I panicked. As I flung my
arms around, trying to struggle
away from him, my hand found the
lamp on the table. I only meant
to startle him so he would release
his hands from my throat. I must
have swung too hard. I hit him
on the back of his head. When I
realized he was dead, I panicked
and ran away. I left Jim in the
townhouse on Grossmoor,
I am writing, y.ou this letter
from the Mis. denot -- I will be
in Mexico by the time vou receive
I hope you understand. I don't
want to go to jail.
Mrs. Holly T *artin
T '?ell, hopefully, the nolice
won ' t want to be bothered with me
after they read this letter. Since
it appears to be self-de'f anse, they
should just let the matter drop,
rather than ^o through the trou-
ble of dealina with Mexico. Ah,
I finished just in time — there's
the phone. "Hello? Bob, my love!
* T hat? Yes, the apartment — and
the furniture you bouaht me -- it ' s
all fantastic. nut wait! I have
some good news to tell you. I trot
my divorce! Yes, you micht say
it was hand-delivered by the judpc
earlier tonight. I was just ha-
ying a drink to celebrate t .e oc-
casion -- hurry over, so you can
celebrate with me! You can't?
Why? What! Your wife? A car ac-
cident! How did it happen? Sopio-
thino must have jumped in front of
her and made her lose control of
her car — ■ oh, how horrible! Yes,
sweetheart, I understand. You make
the arrangements for the funeral ,
and when every thino settles down,
I'll be waiting for you riaht
here . Bye , -T-ove . "
Well, now I can settle down and
relax and finish off that bottle.
****** * *
DAUGHTERS OF WYX . (LATE SHOW)
A blind spot in the heart's eye,
A misunderstanding on the road to paradise,
Tripping on destiny's doorstep.
All night long
All night loner
All night long
Thinking of you
Thinking of you
What will I do?
Movies in my mind
Like a deaf man's river
I look down at my hands
And my blood brinos a shiver.
Daughter, s of Nyx, continued
I replay every casual word,
Every flicker on your face,
Every touch of you hand,
Every moment of embrace =
The river will reach the ocean,
And the torrent will be calm.
The daughters of Nyx will smile
And the torment will be calm.
BARELEGGED WE SIT
Barelegged we sit
in the lights- -out living room,
curled up like fetuses
in our respective chairs,
as cigarette smoke writhes in the air
like transparent Medusa-head snakes.
The flickering television screen
showing an old black-and-white movie
flashes faint illuminations
on your thick, muscular thights,
and a dusky grayness
plays on your face.
It is halo-esque,
this television light,
though you certainly are not divine —
never were, in fact ~
but there is a magic quality dancing about you,
as the film's lavishly orchestrated score
floats through the room.
Perhaps it was this magic
that first attracted me to you,
as you sit,
completely unaware of my meandering thouahts.
"Nineteen- forty- two, "
suddenly shaking me back.
I stifle a Huh? reaction
and quickly cover my inattention.
"and I bet you don't know who the little quy is,
w Get the book,"
you say, and I do,
turning on the light —
which breaks the spell.
"Nineteen- forty-f ive. I was closer/ 3
"Okay, okay. Who's the little guy?"
"Elisha Cool:, Jr. „ . .
do you really want to see
the rest of this movie?"
Would it mean anything to you
If it meant everything to me?
After all this time,
I still can't telle
What do you care about?
What matters to you?
Your mind seems so shallow,
But your eyes seem so deep,
Am I giving it all to an illusion,
Of a kaleidoscope imagination?
I wish I had some way of finding out
* ;V it ;V -k •!: i; -.V
"Termites have a type of
protozoa that live in their gut,"
stated the biology teacher.
"Gross," exclaimed the young
"Well, you have some living
in your gut/ 3 replied the biology
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
ha," laughed the chorus ,
"Sick, We'd better kick
her out/' said the kid in the
One of the more intelligent
guests noticed the silvery container
r - Golly, gosh, what is that?" he
asked, stunned by his brilliant dis-
"Heck, I don't know/' an-
swered the preacher ,
Another curious bystander
thrust it at the younc bride,, "It-
must be for you all. Why doncha
onen it, huh? huh? Hurry up lady,
blackl ain't c?ot all day."
and silver jacket,
to hear him,
"That protozoa allows the
termite to digest wood cellulose,
continued the teacher, "Without
that protozoa, the termite could
eat all the wood it wanted and
still starve to death,"
She put her cake down, tabb-
ed the container, swallowed what
she had invested, and twisted the
lid off the cylinder.
Good Gawd, was it ever dis-
gusting! The sarnie slimy thincr
squirted out and nlepped onto the
floor. It Quivered like jelly for
Yes. symbiotic relationships a moment, then flowed under the
seemed to be amusing that day. No table,
such humor surfaced when the tea- "Gross!" exclaimed the bride,
cher went on to parasitic relation-droT^ninn the container. She didn't
Meanwhile, across town, two
people were getting married. For
them, and their friends and rela-
tives, it was an important event.
But nobody else much cared. Ex-
cept the preacher. So it wouldn't
have been a very noteworthy event,
save for the gift left by a myster-
He crept into the church
and placed a cylinder of shiny
metal u^on the table with all the
know that she '^ echoed the words of
the young lady over at the ccdeae,
"Oh, don't touch it!" wailed,
Finally somebody called the
handyman. He entered, coucrhing vio-
lently, " T7 here the hell is this
thin^ ? " he muttered ,
"Don't swear/' snapped the
"Cruddy thing ' s under the ta-
ble/' said the man who'd given the
cylinder to the bride.
The handyman snorted as he
looked under the indicated table.
'Geesh! I'm not touchin ' that
riot a dustpan and
So he went a
a hacrrie, '"
edibles set out for the reception
Then he crept back out the door,
Soon the wedding guests were
eating and drinking and cutting
up the beautiful cake for no reasonto his surprise, the aoop crushed
other than to eat it. They had into the pan of its own accord and
absolutely no resnect for the in- freely slid into the elastic bag.
Biology -Test, continued
The handyman promptly sealed that
bag and left the room. The recep-
tion continued o
By two in the afternoon, the
handyman had appeared in the off-
ice of one of the biology teachers
at the college. "I don't know
what the bloody hell this critter
is Doc, but I figured you'd want
a gander at it . "
He left the baggie on the tea-
cher 's desk and rushed off. The
teacher poured the thing into a
beaker and placed it in one of the
labSo He would study it whenever
time allowed .
That night it began to snow.
The next day, the biology
class had a botany test in their
lab — first test of the semester ,
as was inevitable o There were
three questions on the blackboard,
but most of the test consisted of
looking at. specimens and answer-
ing questions about then.
After almost twenty™ four
hours in the beaker, the blob-
thing was getting bored . It knew
there was more to its world than
tiny containers. So, slowly,
almost painfully, it forced its
mass to the lip of its tiny pri-
son. Success! It oozed out onto
the shelf. Free at last, it was-
ted no time in dripping onto the
It flowed around -on the floor
of that empty lab for awhile, then
it streamed out through a doorway
and into the lab where the noor,
innocent students were beinn tested I
Only four people were left, the
others having departed . The tea-
cher, the young lady, a kid in a
blue coat, and the kid in the
black and silver coat. The first
two students were still testing,
but the latter was just hanaincr
around. After all, the Beverly
Hillbillies wouldn 't be on for an
hour and a half.
The young lady and the kid in
the blue coat didn't see the crea-
ture. They were too busy gazing
at specimens. . The teacher didnt
see it gush around his feet. He
was reading a taxidermy magazine.
The kid in the black and silver
coat didn't see it. He was gawk-
ing at a tank full of ferns.
It slid under another door,
into a hall. Desperate for com-
plete liberty, it oozed under an
exit door. Out into the freezing
The kid in the black and sil-
ver coat decided to leave before
he made a nuisance of himself. So
he went out into the hall and
stared blankly at the falling snow.
A moment later, the young
lady came out. They soon struck
up a conversation. They talked
about the test in general, and
kelp in particular, as they walk-
ed out to their respective cars.
Accidently, not even aware of it,
he stepped on the frozen blob and
crushed it into a thousand shards.
***** * * * *
How dare you! How dare you
let your lover run your life . .
How could you let her hurt me
through you? To let her take
her insecurities out on me is
appalling. It is too bad that you
cannot see through those blinders
she has put over your eyes You
would see how subjugated (pussy-
whipped) you are, and how afraid
you are to take a stand for your
You say that you have your
own will, that you can do what
you want . . .if this is so . .
why do you spend most of your time
trying to keep her appeased? You
let her dictate almost your every
move. It has gotten to the point
that you do her will without her
even having to be there! When
I look at you, I see a mnn try ing
to. navioate a sraa.ll boat that
has been riddled by termites and
decay, and who is so busy pluggina
and re-r>lug<rincr leaks and holes,
that he forgets to steer, and ends
up smashing his small boat on the
jagged rocks, and up on the beach
floats the debris of shattered
dreams and longings, and probably
your only chance at life.
Are you aware of your direc-
tion? Can you stand ur> and declare
your rights? That is not to say
that you should push away neonle
who care and want to helr>, just
don ° t let your lover take over
your thinking process. You are
enthralled just by the thought
that this woman accepts you.
Look around you — your friends
accept you and think you are beau-
tiful. Think enough of yourself
to look at your relationship ob-
jectively. What do YOU want frc: 1
The Aroument, continued
a relationship? It is YOUR show,
so decide . „ , do you want to
lose your will, to lose your right
to talk to whoever you want, to lose
your decision-making capabilities,
to live with jealousy, to have just
sex?Or c.o you want joy and lauahter
and love and friendship and free-
dom and to really make love with
(not to) your lover? If a relation-
ship is fragile,, is it x^orth keep-
ing? We all do what we have to do
to keep our place in the world , .
and we all have to decide if the
sacrifices are worth it. Please!
Steer your own boat . . . open
your eyes to the joy available to
you. There is enoucyh love cut
there to overwhelm you . . . crowds
of people that will accept you
just the way you are= It hurts
me deeper than any wound to :?ee
you being controlled . „ . . . .
A ft * & * ;?f i: ft
R Walser Yale
EXILE ON BROADWAY
Last night I walked
^Around my block,
It wasn't late
But the sun had gone.
I walked around my block
The core of my world.
In long strides
I took the lot
Across the street
And I started to smoke.
I see them
And I slow
To laugh at them.
But they are transfixed
By the light,
And do not see me.
By the green light
They hurry off ~~
In their mobile asylums.
I headed north -—
The old lady
In the window
I was an outlaw —
Savage street youth.
The streets emptied —
T he d im light
Casts huge shadows
Of a Solitary figure,
I ascend the stairs
To the hill
To look down on cars.
Laotian walks beneath me
But doesn't r -are look up,
Not even in America.
I turn west —
As I descend the steps
At the red light
Lock their doors.
They are afraid
Of the derelict —
The derelict fears
Their fear .
In my path ~~
A still alarm,
In my wake —
A sigh of relief.
The glowing ash
Burns my finger
And I turn
The paranoid night.
I walk to the porch
And turn out to
Black. ,, numb , wi Id .
I enter the house
And lock, out
The nerverse night.
ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft
A LABYRINTH OF ROOMS
A labyrinth of rooms
with unfinished oakwood floors
opens one into the other
and another into another
through doors and doors unclosed,*
to each corresponding wallo
through the turret windows ~
its gaze as penetrating and as farreaching
as the sunrays
that dance into the empty rooms
hand in hand with twisting flecks and specks of dust*
It sees old feet approaching
in plain, black shoes
sturdy, leather, simple, tired shoes —
and behind them
a rubber- thonged delicate pair
which cautiously, yet vibrantly, enters
and stops o
The something watches a faceless, xirhite-haired man
in plain, black shoes
take off his shirt
to reveal a crepe- skinned chest --
flabby, loose, papery, ashencolored chest —
and extend his floppy forearms in invitation
while he smiles without teeth
and whispers without lips*
sees a girl of fifteen
meet the man's embrace,
her face puzzled,
as the folds of their clothing
fall silently and vanish.,
It barely seems to happen
and there is no memory of any sequence,
but only ephemeral details
but the something has seen
and remembered all
and it follows her doggedly the daylong after,
almost imperceptibly tapping her shoulder now and again c
she says after once such tap,
and the sky is pinkly gray
until the night settles in
tucking its fingers under her chin,
interlacing hands with the allseeing something
and circling her head in haze,
WHAT IS FEAR „ .
Fear is being a child of seven
and realizing that there is
something wrong with you that
only God and a very skilled
surgeon can correct
fear is being very ill and
seeing things climbing your
bedx-oon walls,, when you have
a fever of 106
fear is having the doctors
perform test after test and
still shake their heads, not
What Is Fear
fear is being put on a cold
table and looking up at the
moving ceiling as the nurses
whell you down the hall
fear is a parent watching
all this and placing their
faith in God that their old-
est child lives
fear is. watching this child
grow up never knowing from one
day to the next if one kidney,
damaged, will ever function
fear is seeing the child regress
emotionally, not able to cope with
a life even an adult would find
fear is knowing she can destroy
herself and you are helpless
fear is wondering one day
to the next , one month to the
next, and one year to the next,
what this child of yours will
have to go through
fear is realizing that this
child is flesh of your flesh
rf\ *> /\ rf* t\ 4\ *\ *%
Lois Jo Talbot
HOURS PASS AND ALL ARE WEARY
Hours pass and all are weary
And finally the clock says go
But one lone worker lingers at h^s de
And we wonder why this is so
Everyone is gone no\J
The room is growing dim
£yt still he sits and works
Because he feels lonely within,.
The minutes pass and soon he knows
That he too must be on his way„
He grabs his hat and starts for the door
As a kitten runs across the floor,,
""Poor lonely thing," the man thinks to
And he picks it up to stroke
The kitten snuggles close and purrs
And he feels an inner glow*
A warm feeling came over the man
And he felt loved once more
All because of a stray little kitten
That he picked up off the fioor„
Mary Davis son
A NEW BEGINNING
Day after day we drive into the park-
ing lot, carefully selecting our slots so
our children won' t have to walk too far
in the icy weather = Day after day, we
both arrive early — - we don't want our
children standing in the cold waiting,,
Day after day, I notice this fiftyish
weatherworn man who always parks next to
rae„ In the heart of the winter , he keeps
the engine of his rust-eaten station wa-
gon running. "Why doesn' t he get his muf-
fler repaired?" I wonder all through Jan-
uary, February and Marcho We never speako
Our eyes rarely meet, though my two-year-
old and he exchange waves daily,.
The children are being dismissed from
school o I unlock the car doors and brace
myself for the onslaught,, Day after day,
my rear view mirror picks up this khaki-
clad, gray-haired man with the crewcut
trudging out of the car, walking to the
school building to meet his son. He
bends his weary body and his ungloved hands
make sure the boy's jacket is zipped all
the x-7ay up and the muffler is covering
the nose He walks the boy back to the
car with his arm around him B He rits
in the car for a moment to examine his
son's paperso Pride beams from the tired
eyes on sight of the fine work*
Finally, spring pierces through
winter's chill The man is no longer
there to pick up his con. I meet his wife
who has walked over to pick the boy up»
She tells me that things are getting
better,, Her husband, having been laid
off of work since Christmas, has now been
recalled,, This boy is the youngest of
eight children,. How the rent can be paid,,
Yes, things will be better now.
Then, one day after school, my boys
bring home the news — their friend' s fa-
ther — "You know, Mom, the man who al-
ways parked next to us in the school park-
A New Beginning , continued
ing lot" is dead! An accident at work,, nessi All the uncaring, self-indulgent
Shock gripe me„ Suddenly seized from people who survive and this nan has gone
life while at worko Seized from life just to dust.
as things were getting better I Never to
see his son's accomplishments., Never to
see another spring or summer* Surviving
the tough times just to be plucked from
life when things get better., The unfair-
Then suddenly my seven-year-old son'
words break through my cognition — "And
Mom, they said he was being planted today
At first, the terminology startles me , „
then it hits me.
The jroung are closer to the Truth
THREE LITTLE BOYS
Three little boys walk their bicycles across a busy street,
smiling as they dodge traffic
and magnificently large puddles.
At the other side,
they park their bikes
and recross the street —
only this time they don't miss the puddles.
The boys are black
but the shades are distinct:
one boy, like chocolate milk —
chalkysmooth and creamyskinned —
the second almost blue,
and the other like Kraft dark caramel.
Their beatup sneakers and those of a thousand other boys ,
spring on the pavement,
attesting to the fact
that kids run faster and jump higher
in any brand of shoe.
Their spry legs
covered in denim
flex, become taut,
as they dart
from here to there.
In the summertime,
after a crazy rain,
the little boys come out to play
in clusters throughout the city,
and the streets echo silently with an endless stream of schemes
what to do with water 1
R, Walser Yale
THE FATE OF THE LYNX
Left to the tender mex-cies
Of the shrewd catamount,
The upright species —
(Not counting the savant)
Fled their carbonized citie;
The wildcats legions —
Pliant, lunatic trolls
Shadowed the masses
Of T/oepiog, worried fools
And drove them into seared hills,
Hundreds of miles they roamed
Where clannish insanity kills
The herds with no home.
Triumphantly, the intoxicated
(And their unfortunate slaves)
Turn back to the ancestral
City of Ashes
The Fete of the Lynx, continued
Orange skeletons, the slag frames
Of tremulous structures
Still stand — unchanged
But the mortar turned cinders
Has dropped the brick into great mounds,
Yet, the cat's decrepit throne
Is far from dead;
He had memorized
The circuit -~
He had stalked these
When his foreign forcec
With the natives —
Buried in the embers and under
The stone, crustaceous creatures thrive
Mute, strong, heavily armoredo
The ancient crawlers still live,.
In the noxious darkness,
Retarded dogs noc.n and howl
Now out seep the vermin — - wicked ratsi
Starving adders - without a sound
Hunt their prey
Through the winding streets
And across the river, a standing red
Pool of caustic ooze,
Live the learned ones —
The instinctive, absurd dregs
In the black night,
The surreptitious creatures
Elude the cat's keen eyes,
Desperately seeking the snakes
At the end of the night,
Signaled by a brownish
The dregs retire
To their dwellings of stone„
Some, bellies full, dance
In the street"
Of the feline's enforcers —
The damned trolls!
Aimless battles rage
In the street
Until both forces spent,
Now all is silent
Nothing stirs i
The sins iter
The catamount descends
The upright, rational
He is an oracle,
He is in£ienr..it.p , raving 1 ,
When the clamorous
And drove the chagrinod>
And fugitive kin
To the defeated hills»
The s laugh ter„
The beast returns
To his throne —
Smug s sated
And makes a gesture
To the head troll:
"Have the dead cremated,,"
Off the sulphuric banks
Of the river
A squadron of dregs and trolls
Comrades ~~ bloody and rank
Tumble and roll*
Alone in subterranean
The lynx sleeps,,
Of extortionate men
Unfold in his deranged,
Awakened by a hideous
He bounds to a mirror
Into crystalline jade eyes<>
Crushed, he slides
Down the wall
Until the abject,
Venomous troll ,
The cold blooded
And the electrified,
With a cool
The exploded city.
NIHILISTIC NEW YEAR
January 23, 2010 o That was the day
They announced that God had diedo I re-
member that moment wello It was one of
those rare periods in Our glorious history
when a vicious blizzard had all but shut
down the operation of the technological
wonderland. It was noon, but the sky was
dark gray, even darker than the uniform
towers of the City. And the wind and
snow whipped savagely at any mortal who
dared expose Himself,,
Ac I left that cemetery of ideals, I
couldn't help but think that God would
never have died if Our soul- weren't
in a terminal state- Our could should
be finely tuned instruments equipped
with sophisticated abstract cense •-.
Their nature is to be seekers j looking
for permanent happiness . And they need
freedom to search,, But even under good
conditions, most happiness is temporary .
And we hardly live in a proper environ-
°o> naturally, like most of My fellow ment. For all intents and purposes, Our
citizens, I was in My cubicle apartment
watching the Neworeview on My telescreen*
I was^ wrapped in a thick blanket, 13"ing
upon I*y couch, and feeling My age. There
was another power shortage that winter,
and ^ My quarters were rather chilly, I
hel^ .My cat Wilhelm securely in My arms
He was perfectly content to have His back
scratched, I could tell, he was purring D
So content with so little. But then, I
was content with My telescreen and cozy
And that was when They announced that
God was dead* After that bombshell was
dropped, the reporter gave some brief
biographical information,, The trouble was
that Nobody remembered the deceased's
birthdate, or how He got His st"rt. But
then, No J ody had been very close to Him,
'Ithough many had claimed to be, God
never was one to make friends easily. He
was just too intimidating. People were
afraid of Him, afraid to question Him.
But God can hardly be blamed for human
goals have become based on Our confusing-
ly complex economic system. And that ic
not a proper environment for a healthy
soul to be functioning in. No indeed,
it is a very cramped, narrow, and cor-
rupting world. And it is jam-packed with
cramped, narrow, and corrupting competi-
tion. All goals have become material,
or infected by materialism. So coulc have
become vestigial handicaps. Ac with all
institutions, the economic system has
deteriorated. It has become a vicious
trap. And it is the unchallanged para-
gon of all our institutions. It is Our
reality. A reality that is almost com-
pletely impossible to escape.
Oh yes, religion gives some relief.
I admit that. Its simple answers to com-
plex problems are indeed the salvation
for many individuals. But it can't work
for all of Us, You see, it demands a
person to suppress aspects of his or her
inner nature just as the economic djg-
tem does. We must become devout, or
weakness. It wasn't like He'd ever really even fanatical. We must hide behind veilc
ried to freak people out,
I was sorry to hear about His death.
I eally was. We had never been able to
relate to each other, I admito But in
my younger days, I'd often wandered
through the tiny forest preserves, and I
had admired His work c He had been a fan-
tastically intricate artist, and massive-
ly productive too. But I never could de-
velop a sense of kinship with Him,, His
groupies had always turned me off,
I was invited to the funeral , of
course. After all, I had once been fa-
mous. So I put. on my galoshes and parka
and off I went. Naturally, They had to
make the whole thing an extravagant mock-
ery of dignity. There were thousands of
mourners. Most of them were like Me,
has-beens who'd been cast aside by the
advances of Our society. And We were
treated like a herd of mindless cattle.
We milled around the vast tomb as those
in power hcg ged all the publicity. It
was c bitterly cold day, too. I never
would have gone if I'd had the right to
refuse. Even thoig h I've always believed
funerals to be a rip-off, that doesn't
mean they should be amv&xrL-esd *«*■«-> a <zir-
cns„ -Especially a -obf!«sL-tess one.
of original sin, basic evil, falling
short of divine expectations. Can't We
understand that We are primates with
souls? But no, thoce who seek knowledge
must choose between science and religion.
They lose something either way. Science
has no soul. The universe slowl}*- grows
vaster, We seem to become more aware of
its mechanical nature. Yet it alco be-
comes mere threatening. Hot/ can one per-
son's life and happiness matter when con-
fronted by infinity? So we turn to re-
ligion. It makes us special, it makes
Us God's children. We have a place in
the scheme of things after all. But re-
ligion lacks tolerance of human nature
when you get right down to it. . What
is called sin and weakness is merely part
of Our nature. And religion can make a
person into a cheerful robot, spouting
the same doctrines over and over and over
again. Oh yes, We could use a god. But
We need a god who is a friend, not a mas-
ter. We don' t need to accept a god. But
We need a god who accepts Us.
Scient-e denies the soul. Religion
don-'<"-' t-ha pfimate. And ia&tex~i.i3li.sjm—de~
Look at Us I We're vanning around 6ur
nihilistic Hew Yecx, continued - o
collective existence trying to find some- I ccn't think of e.ny more w orth Drying,
thing o And when We're frustrated, He be-
come oo insecure that We have to look foi
ways to oppress others to prove Cur own
We ell do it, no matter
what path We follow. We r.ll look dox/n on
someone or something. We all do! 3ven I
do ; and I'm an artist end amateur philoeo-
pher, I just use different standards.
And it's all because We have failed to re=
concile the primate with its soul, Our
social programming with ^ur abstractions c
At least 5 that's My subjective opiniono
But this is hardly meant to be a ser-
mon. It's just that the death of GoC. had
its effect on Me. I apologise,
I made my way home from the funeral.
Maybe it was such a fiasco because it
■was a rush job. They didn't even allow
Themselves time to clear the streets of
the snow from that bliczard. But I guess
I see the point. They could hardly leave
God's bod}? lying around, Spiritual
stench, you knbw«j
Af ter L '-:j dinner that evening
cided to paint a picture, Sometimes I
wonder why They even let Me paint, My
style Of art is hardly popular a^rmore.
And anything that doesn't sensitise the
masses, helping Them forget "heir dilemma
is frowned upon as a useless habit* In
My youth, it was called Modern Art, Mow
bit of historical trivia,
And I painted and spread broad Kwirls
I formed an order!}? chaos that
Oh ves- I made it blend
ever sc nicely, I lost Myself in My cre-
.rug, I never nee I
those barbiturates handed out to the poor
by Their welfare programs.
And Wilhelm came over to Me and rub-
bed against My leg. It was his suppertime.
He's always most affectionate when he
wants some "tiling. And I had to stop cre-
ating. It was good to know that My pet
needed Me, but it was distracting.
As I went to f in d the cat food, I
noticed that it was snowing again. And
I felt tired. It had been a hard day,
I'm getting old. So please excuse Me if
i* sense of dogmatic gloom
Has seeped into the darkness of
Infiltrating to the core of heresy
Upsetting literal constants that
have no basis
In a malevolently malleable cosmor
that secretly worships
Chaos and its cousin
The stage is not set
But the curtains of predestination
Pulled up by withered and ancient
Multi-eyed blobs raise their shape-
less heads high to limbo
The mud castles melt in the laughing
God is dead and rotting
His body is the universe
Philosophical maggots have infected
The stars grow brief!}'' brighter
Then burn out until the next celes-
tial pyre is constructed
Ilihili sm stalks the ruins of
The shadows gibber mindlessly at
Robg-its must under layers of corro-
llothing is green
Ilothing is red
The audience applauds- loudlx? - ,
t: rf* V* r» *•**•**•*** ,
The Devil is
we sail on beyond
your afternoon reach now,
sail on past the
tops of your
wincing arms, ascending.
Goodbye, Old Man,
By all the gods who ever roamed the backyards of liinbo-i
The cosmos itself has been cracked
Its life-blood dripping from celestial horizons
And look out in the anonymous farm-yard
It is Hikal, ruler of the empty lands within
A £&cusl&o& dBacra~*k±r\°, rrpr&ndias yasZ wings of membrane
Holy Hokuci, continued
Oh green and furry abyss dweller
Lacking visage save for the aura of blood-red eyes
That watch as the galactic juices gush down in profusion
Chox/ering the rainbow dog
Dissolving it in an Alka-Seltzer fizzle
And absorbed by the dry and thirsty ground
Hikal' watches neutrally, ever the observer
He who never participates
He who grows through knowing, not action
Out of the farmhouse there rushes a warrior-born
Fortified by golden plate-mail
Two-handed battle-ax raised high over featureless
It is stained by the yelloxnLsh blood of insectoids
The knight charges the Lord of Apathy
Hikal, master of many forms, all irrelevant
The veteran weapon is buried deep
Deep into the core of madness
Cutting through the outer defenses, into the beyond
That inner fiber which is at one with the universe
It spews out as a metamorphic waterfall
And is absorbed by the dry and thirsty voido
Linda IC Horras
RIDING THE MIL
It is like a speckled plain — an endless plain?
looming magnificently in front of my glassed view;
Maybe a house this time or a steeple the next to dot the
Or maybe it's the endless rows of husked soldiers,
all bobbing in a mock salute: "Come join usi
Come join usi"
3ut I can't hear, the glass only yielding to the c onstant
chug, chug, chugo
Moving now, n y picture changes,
greenery sur-rounds the pane;
Like a thick yarn the huge trees are embroidered on ray
somewhat fixed image;
All I knoxj is x^hat I see from out my moving screen » o <»
And the undaunted chug, chug, chugo
Tov/n by toxm or valley by valley,
the scene remains the same;
Still following the path of iron to a destinjr much like these
a plain, a tree, a cornfield, a hou«e -,
and to silence the xtfeary chug, chug , chugo
Adriane Say lor
THE SPIDER o o o AID I
With one leg always free,
he inches along the filament road;
Never falling, but rooted in a creation
of dazzle and spangled splendor »
He creeps along " is territory,
spitting the future out into the light;
He watches through the lines of glory,
the crazy &xztr& of dqym and ih& mad pux-pljs
.,- e „ / 7 y ,i ?ri_ a *"- e " , %ti- th^f i.vrJ,L
,And I, continued
He sees the dip and swagger of butterfly
and noth and ant and wasp„
All those wings, those glass, glittering
panes to be seen through*
All those creatures caught in one moment,
by straying too close to the naked beauty
of his silk;
Those ones the wind will not take back.
In such a moment I fell into the silver
between the silent darkness of your hair and
everything fe^l away to nothing*.
And by the time you n ticed me in your web,
I was already a goner „ «, »
Hours eat into the mind,
erasing what has gone before,
night blots up memories and they are nothing
Tou c h that has fevered into flame,
now fans down, like the coals of a
Words bounce off the silence and
dance with my fears all around the room,
I am blackened to an ash, as
the night burns itself to the end,,
And where are you,
and what silence is this that
my heart now knows?
It is certainly not peace,
although there is that supposition too;
Dreams, and their sisters,
wishes keep me company in the thin
pane between madness and resolution,,
And in the end, your darkness is all I have
the one line of hope in my confusion,,
It is love and I will not give it up,
nor will I be saved by a promised visit
on the shore of sleep „ s „
J» D„ Guse
III THE KITCHEN, WAITING FOR SUNRISE
I sit within a stable room
staring at the uncontrollable nature
and how beautiful she looks today,,
The wind makes the ripples go
and the ripples make the river flow,,
The water looks like a sequined dress
as Mr Sun makes his debut„
fCTCfftwC *\ <\ *\ rf>
I hate to see the shimerald grass
Turn murkioh yellow in fall
To see ten foot of partly cloudy
Along the blankest highway
I dislike any season
But the springiest summer
And think naught of reddish gold leave*
As they messy up the forest
I don't care for smoldering haziness
Of their burning in a pile
Hor of heavy gray clouds
Dumping their heaviness on me
The beauty of flowerama
In a marriage of color
I am deeply in love with chlorophyll
Life's illustion stuck
Danky, swamp prevails
Nothingness and fog
Relationships , frosty
A cold windox; pane
Blistery winds across the prairie
What is this coldness
This stuck place
The emptiness upon ray soul
7v 1C *\ >w\>» ~i\ <\
BLACK, DARK WITH YELLOW SLIT-EYES
Black, dark with yellow slit-eyes,
Cunning self-sufficient rodent-bite
Touching the invisible question world.
Inferior dislike., point, sharp, tear, shred.
Liquid style superiority with sleek grace,
Noiseless j precision motion none can compare
Digging red warmth for nothing.
Zero prodigality, all proficient leadership
Knows its silent place*
Solid immovable prediction,,
Hiss, spit with hatred, damned to survive eternity
In an alien universe,,
Forced to the height of beast by foreign suicidal
Altered tangibility to assume lower life,
Impris ned forever by God's evolution.
You can't play a piano with an ice pick*
A painful crying univoice tells secrets, but doesn't
The centuries show us different similarity,,
Mystery preys unfinished, infinitely doomed from its
Earth knows not this FELTNUS SAPIEN.
RAINBOWS AND STORMS
Sing to the trees and the skies and the birds
And you'll find they will sing back to you B
Sing with your heart and soul, and not words —
Sing, sing, sing, and the world will be new.
Just as I see the horizon ahead
A rainbow beginning to form,
My eyes are held to a cloud instead
And I ami lost in a storm.
Laugh with the winds and the grass, and the
Oh, laugh with Mister sun in the sky,
Laugh with yourself and stop all the showers -
Laugh, laugh, laugh, till you cry.
Run with the clouds and the days, and the deer.
Yes, run free to your rainbow's end.
Run to your Master and sing without fear —
Run, run, run, to your friend.
outside my window.
splatter against the glass Q
en they meander doxm the pane,
It seems that life is Illusion-
A mirage around every bend,
When I wonder will storms be stilled?
Perhaps when my words are penned.
The thunder rolls and wind blows
I'm sure I'll hard.
I'm sure I'll crash on the rock
With nothing left except a shard
Of my mind, the weathercock.
Then I'm caught by the sun once more
And its light allows me to see,
That I can stand upon any shore
And be what I want to be.
Gray shoots down its bullets
to wet the earth;
Slicks up the street and spangles
the window %-rLtJi sudden brilliance-.
3 torn, continued
The treec are royalty, in the diamonds
from the sky;
Their backs nearly break as the wind
pushes against their green- f rocked bodies.
And in the space of seconds ,
the world is a torn curtain, waving back and forth
between the fury of nature's temper tantrum.
It is momentary, this beating of trees
and berating the buildings with- gusts *f fury,-
It is like love,
this all-day storm. thi3 riot of the sky.
A grey, large, consuming something,
that will not be pushed away, until, like love
it has wet and soaked through every pore exposed.
Only then will the clouds part for sun to show
itself in splendor once again. . .
WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO SEND
REFLECTS Oil WATTING III A PARKING LOT
As I sit here on the bare boards of °f Datsun submarines. Although I suppose
this bench, I feel the \7ind telegraphing the Japanese some day will get into su 1 --
chilly messages to my nervous system. My raarina building. They seem to be manu-
mind is set in neutral, ready to go, but facturing everything else. Aside from
still waiting for some unknown conveyance that, the problem with sending a sub
to arrive, I put it in gear end start would be enormous, since most of the tonsile
thumbing through the possibilities, steel in a submarine would not be strong
There are a few things I know it enough to move through the grass beds and
could not be. In all probability, it roll over the wavelike trees with their
could not be a kite, since a kite would crisp green froth. No, a sub would not
not be powerful enough to get me off this work, even if they had one at their dis-
hard hard ground. It could not be a bird, posal,
since I know of no bird capable of lift- I suppose I should not feel as I do
ing a six-foot tall, one-hundred-ninety with all of the subterfuge and disgust
pound payload. that i3 howling violently in my belly
The vehicle could conceivably be a and the bitter taste that is buttering
blimp, although, since the crash of the my lips with oil of grasshopper breath,
Hindenburg, that fashion of travel has I notice a couple of garbage turkey
gone up in smoke. It is occasionally re- trucks and think, not even they could
viewed for certain American festivals in be so cruel as to send those vulturous
which groups of men gather to see which creatures to pick me up with their slimy
one can more effectively beat out the refuse packed fingers. A fork lift? No,
brains of the other, I must rule out not enough range. Although it would be
this possibility, however, since these slow enough. God does not recharge
gatherings are usually held in fall or fork lifts on request,
the dead of winter,
I am pretty well cettain that it is
not a submarine, since I have not heard
J. D. Guse
G0VER11MSNTAL - LOVE
However many times I admit "love is hungry cries for the not-oo-famout — jn
■Lree and pure, and can never be harmed occasion, warped — Guse reply,
by any outside additives," I must also Yes, folks, Uncle Samuel has done it
realiae that somex/here along the line, the again. I have not found any authentic
government proposed the rn£&mciu.& usvirritrtaa written, documents 4:onc<2i-nin£ hovr the go-
bill called "The loveTarc" One may rak vernmsnt intervenes in one 1 a most pri-
hovr- could, -anyone teas; lr>ve? I heal - your vafc«* effalrs, but I am forced to admit
Governmental Love, continued
that my phone bill was of an exceedingly
large amount due to intimate, sometimes
perverse, conversations held on the talk-
ing bo;;. Hot that I, of all people, would
complain, but obviously our number one
obsession in life — to find a full-time
companion -- is being destroyed because
people are just too concerned about where
their money goes In other words, Mr, G„
(as in Government and Green) says, "We
can make a bundle if we tax love and mar-
riage and things like that,"
Oh boy, I let another one out of the
bag — marriage. Just about everyone I
know who is married has some complaint
about feeding the extra mouth in the
house on April 15, Let's face it, the
government intervenes in just about every-
thing else, why shouldn't they get some
part of the relationship too? OK, so now
we've hit upon another subject — dates.
Let me set the scene,, You schedule a date,
over the phone of course (Federal Communi-
cations Tax), then you drive to the girl's
house, if you are a .male* And of course
you are using gas , which not only costs
money, but has a Federal Tax to booto If
by chance a movie is on the agenda, you
are in luck — movies are not taxed. How-
ever, you do pay an upper and lower ex-
tremity (arm and a leg) just to gain en-
trance to the most prestigious cinema
house in the city. And of course, you
see such classics as Jaws III, People
and Pgbble Doe s Dal las. And of course,
after the show, your date has this immen-
se craving for an authentic German meal - •
thick-crust pizza xzith a raw egg in the
center (a four seasons pizza) , One must
not forget that no matter how bad the meal
is , one must pay a tax for it and for the
inevitable indigestion,. Oh, yes — a
complete date can not conclude until the
drinks have been served, in the back seat
of a car of course,, Gotcha again* You
buy the booze, you pay the tax.
So you see, love is a three-way
street: you, your date, and Uncle Sam-
uel,, However, the opportunity exists for
excluding the Money Man from your love
First of all, you could die (No
tax for death „ )
-Second, in reference to phone calls,
one may call from a pay phone to a loved
one at another pay phone, Keep in mind,
however, that someone must reverse the
charges on the phone call. And by all
means, don't pick up the receiver when the
operator calls back to get your name.
Thirdly, take your date on a bicycle
Fourthly, become a Ewe 11 Gibbons fan,
(Eat wild hickory nuts„ ^
And lastly, remember, God made grass*
man made booze Who do you trust?
Judy Bel fie Id
DON'T COMPLAIN TO ME ABOUT THE ECONOMY
Don't complain to me about the economy -?-
I got troubles of my own
I don't wanna hear about the fiscal year
or deficit spending
or cuts unending ,
except for defending =
Inflation's just a new sensation
that's getting rather old —
older than the gold in Fort Knox,
which is kept under locks
and fluctuates by the hour —
an unseen, possibly nonexistent, pot/er-conf erring entity
that lacks nobility and class,,
Economy talk i3 a pain in the ass,
as passe as primal scream
and ESP and Gestalt, and dream interpretation.
It's as old as the hills,
and as boring as that last phrase
no matter what the phase:
the upward swing,
the familiar ring of the downward trend,
money on the mend,
or the rapid decline,
I decline to take an interest in conversations about interest
or deflation measures
or financial pressures.
Tell me of sunshine and stars,
for I cm a Scarlett O'Hara
who doesn't cara
Don't Complain To Me About The Economy , continued
for all this "talk, talk, talk of war I"
Recession, depression —
all this talk of money „
I don't give a damn.
The ivy grows on empty halls
The switchboard' s quiet — no more calls
The building creaks and moans its loss
We lost it all to weeds and moss
The rustling of our steno's skirts
The fluttered lashes when she flirts
Are all behind us now we rue
The pains we gave "the chosen few"
This plant was once alive with work
We made come wealth when it would perk
But now the footsteps that we hear
Are old men passing to be near „ , „
DEAD PLAIIT'S LAMENT
They look upon the bricks of red
And shuffle on with nodding head
"Alas, we could have saved it when
We took a break as long as ten , . ."
We n'er showed up except "on call"
We took a bundle from it all
We've killed the goose that laid our eggs
So now we pass on idle legs
A muddy pond our tear drops make
A sad true lesson for our sake , . ,
Hey there I How ya doing? I don't
know if there's anyone else still alive
out there in the whole wide and wonder-
ful worldo But feel free to stop by some-
time, I'm here in Arizona, in the middle
of the world-famous Petrified Forest, sit-
tin' on a 200-million year old tree stump,
I guess it's just as much a living thing
as any other tree now. And this desert
is a f rr adise, compared to those radio-
active wastelands I came from., It seems
so fresh and cool, even though it's high
noon in July, I've even seen a few other
living things since I got here. The trou-
ble is, I ain't sure why I came here, I
don't remember very much at all anymore,
I think I was looking for someone I once
knew, but I don't know who. Goddamn it,
I can't even figure out my own name.
Where was I? Oh yeah, out in the desert.,
I'm probably the last person alive, at
least in this country,, Won't be for long,
though. Just about had it. Jesus, all
those people are dead. Everybody except
me. Everybody! Guess fate made a good
choice., I'm pretty sure I was one of
those types who had nothing to live for c
And that's all that's left — nothing.
Wait a minutei Over on that stone log I
It's some sort of lizardo You know, I
really like these old rock trees, all
their weird color schemes appeal to me„
This lizard, the species looks familiar*
I used to know my reptiles fairly well.
I didn't know much about humane ,. but I
could tell a horned toad from an Ameri-
can chameleon,, The little critter ic
looking at me kinda funny. His heed is
sort of turned up, and he's got one eye
on me, I guess he didn't expect to find
any of my kind left. How do I know it's
a "he"? I don't. He's probably wonder-
ing how long it's gonna take me to die.
Then his kind can take over the world
again, get a second chance. Wish I had
a second chance now. Wish I'd been
able to do something with my life. Won-
der if there's a Heaven and Hell, Guess
I'll be findin' out soon. Can't stand
that lizard gawking at me. Go on, beat
it> Let me die in peace, you little
bastard. You guys have been waiting all
these millenia for us to snuff our-
selves out, you can wait a few more min-
utes. God, I'm sick. My skin's cAl grey
and it's been peeling off in acres. And
i ain't been able to eat anything in days c
It comes right back up quicker than it
takes to go down. And i just ran outta
water, i'm either numb or in agony,
don't know if anjrbody else is cut there
or if you even care but i care r.bout you
juctcauseyou're anothergod- for oaken per-
son in a man-madehell you neverw anted
but if youwere one ofthe scumwho pushed
the button i forgiveyou what else can i
fcL.^....' -..*.«.' *•>'**-* ....'-
FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND
the sounds of independence,
go much like mini-wars at every corner
after the sun went down on Thursday,
continuing until Monday night —
it was a long weekend*
Church spires black
against a pinkfluff sky,
the Methodist church sign
announces the Sunday sermonsubject:
Freedom From Fear —
Freedom's just another word for , * °
wave those flags as the drums roll
and the marching girls in short skirts
do their stickylegged routines in the humid head,
and the fireworks look like powderpu-fs
that fizzle and sizzle
end blow off hands
and we hear about every fifth of July —
the tragedies ~-
and we're as free as we're ever gonna be,
which is not free at all
or free at last a
Yet we hP G r a blast from the past ~~
a rocketshooting red glare
of gory independence
gained by the blood of fathPrs' fathers
all the way back through an infinitymaze of deaths,
and we're proud to be Americans ■ —
love it or leave it,
our country right or wrong*
The churchbellc ring out
New freedom is a sanitary pad
also stained with,
you guessed it*
Where does it end
and where did it begin?
What day is it now?
It was a long week end „
»*-...'-»«.'.* «.'.-«.'. ■■,'.*» *-. «.'.-
7* rfV rfV *V rfV H *WV
Mary Davis son
JOLIET'S FINEST NEWSPAPER
J oliet's finest newspaper — its . only one too,
nly way round to find out who's who„
L ivin pages — macaroni recipes you can trust,
1 rish sports page* — information on who's gone to dust a
E xciting tidbits in News in Brief,
T hird page coverage of the world's grief o
H oroscopes to help you plan romance , travel and luck,
E xtra coupons on Wednesdays help you stretch your buck,
R ealty, cars, assorted ads for the elite,
A ssociated Press reports on the Washington beat,
L ocal politicians x/ith their axes to grind,
D ear Abby — sad letters often left unsigned,,
N ews of the births, marriages and weather reports,
E yewitness accounts of all the local sports,
W hiteside's column is a bright spot, and yet,
-^ erves itr> best pui-pose xrheii housebreaking your pet a
Ten years ago, Nells had graduated
fron the Art Academy. Arned with youth-
ful enthusiasm and confidence, he looked
forward to a bright future as an artist.
His exceptional record at art school had
le- him to believe that the world would be
as excited about his work as his instruc-
tors had been c He had returned to the
northern town where many happy summers
had been spent in painting, and, in the
evenings, waiting tables to pay for each
coming school year
The town was a summer place, wh^-a
the rich and not-so-rich came from all
over the country to spend their vacations
on sunny lake beaches and in fashionable
restaurants, and their money on arts and
crafts that filled the rustic shops lining
the quaint streets. It seemed a perfect
place for a beginning artist to sell his
paintings with the hope of becoming
He had built a rough, but sturdy,
structure five miles from toxm, accessible
by an adequate dirt road, which was to
serve as home and studio . It was surround-
ed on three sides by white birch and pine,
and on the fourth side was a field of
wild flowers which sloped downward to a
lake He had been very pleased with the
set-up and settled in to work.
Nells loved his work, spending long
hours painting the beauty he saw in the
dunes, the town, and the forest around
him, returning to his studio as the day-
light failed, to continue painting from
mental images and sketches he had collect-
ed. Often he would forget to rest until
the clamor of the birds c°lebrating sun-
rise would interrupt his concentration,
reminding him of the passage of time and
his own fatigue
A small gallery, in town had agreed
to display and sell his paintings, taking
a percentage of each sale for themselves
Nells' paintings were hung on long walls
with the work of many other "rtists. Oc-
casionally, there was a sale, but the pub-
lic seemed to chow no preference for
Nells' work, and he was finding the in-
come insufficient to support himself, al-
though his needs were quite basic. Hunger
began to take its toll, affecting his en" '
ergy and ability to concentrate Dreams
are hard to give up, however, and each
day Nells told himself that coon sales
would pick up, that people would soon re-
alize the qpecial qualities of his work.
Bells ring. Open eyes gorge, sar-
dine motion with smells of lunch box
bananas , dragging out to see 3etsy Ross
before a giant cube» Bells ring and time
goes slow, brain space filled with choco-
late milk j dates of numberfacts, instruc-
tor personality is of major influence.
We are all shaped different but we must
conform,. Belle ring, essential nutri-
tion c Bells ring, tough drain on hard
flattop elbows j big downward fall with
ridicule, great flying rubber loops
stinging or sphere expectorant wood pulp
sailing complete with ruler wrist, more
space is satisfied. Bells ring, sprint
out sardine motion of perspiration re-
locking to origination, Btit to get a
good job you can't be a square peg.
One spring day, he moved hie easel
to a spot down by the lake. He hoped the
reawakening of the world around him
would renew his spirit, giving him the
energy to continue. The soft, warm
breeze ruffled his hair. Sunbeams dap-
pled the new growth around him while the
scent of fresh spring flowers filled his
censes. He looked across the lake, men-
tally framing a section of the view he
wanted to interpret into paint, A
brushed-in sketch slowly appeared, but
soon he began to feel distracted, his
concentration eluding him even as he
fought to maintain it. Putting his hands
on his hips, he looked away, heaving
a deep breath full of frustration.
Not far away, a wide slanting beam
of sunlight slid down through the dark
foliage of an evergreen grove, A vi-
brant spot of color floated in its
midst, catching Nellc' eye. As it
passed through the sunbeam and moved on
toward Nells, he noted that it appeared
to be a butterfly of great size with
glowing rich colors like a stained
glass window. He held out his hand and
was amazed when it lit there, lie had
failed to notice that the body of the
butterfly was not the usual worm-like
form, but was actually a tiny, perfect-
ly formed man. He jumped slightly when
hi3 eyes rested on the figure, causing
the butterfly to have to flutter slight-
ly to keep from losing its footing. The
little man laughed melodiously.
"What are youi" asked Nells, incre-
"I am called Seth, and am of the
tribe Boheim," laughed the butterfly.
"Do I c tar tie you?"
"Will you hurt me?" asked Nellc.
"Do I look like I could hurt you?"
asked Seth, "I live in the glen at the
other end of the lake," Seth continued,
"juct beyond the Impossible Thicket, the
one you have tried several times to get
through, Hy whole tribe lives there e We
"What things?" asked Nells*
"Oh, golden goblets set with jex/els,
paintings of charm, mystical fabrics, to
name a few. Tonight we celebrate spring
and many of our treasures will be on view c
Would you like to see? You are welcome to
join our festivities,, I will be back for
you at nine,"
With that, Seth leaped from Wells'
arm and disappeared in the leaves above,
never giving Nells a chan c 3 to answer,,
"Hey, waiti" said Nells, staring up
after him and twisting around with hopes
of sp°tting him again, but Seth was gone.
Later that evening, Nells sat on his
back steps listening to the birds singing
their evening songs and watching the be-
ginning of the sunset behind the lake,
Nells jumped as a voice beside him
said, "It's beautiful, isn't it?" Seth
was seated on the rail beside him, knees
up and c hin in his hands , as if he had
been there for quite a while,
"You didn't expect to see me again,
did you?" asked Seth e "Are you coming to
Seth -^d been righto Nells hadn't
really expected to see him again. He had
even been wondering if ^ x .s imagination had
been playing tricks on him. After all, a
tiny man with butter r ly wings wasn't some-
thing one expected to see, Nells - G lt
very restless tonight and really didn't
know what to do with himself. At a party,
at least he could pet something to eat,
and if the rest or the tribe looked like
Seth, it would certainly be something to
"Sure," said Nells, "let's go,"
Seth immediately leaped forward in
the air and floated off gently with Nells
following. As they approached the Impos-
sible Thicket, the shrubbery parted and
they stepped through into a glen full of
motion. The air was full of Boheims like
Seth, Some were hanging tiny Tiffany
lamps on gossamer string across the glen.
Others hung crystal windchines on the
tree-branch tips that tinkled softly in
the breeze. On the ground, figures like
Seth scurried to and fro with trays of
food and jeweled goblets of wine, A large
group of Boheims flew across toward Nells
and Seth bearing a huge golden goblet
and a tray of food. They placed it on a
mossy knoll by a tree for Nells,
"Please sit here," said Seth, "relax
and enjoy your evening, I must join my
Seth seated himself at the head of a
long caken table. Motion ceased immediate-
ly as all became seated, Seth raised his
5'oblet, All the Boheims stood and raised
their gobletn in the air saying in unison:
"Here's to the sun's burning glow
Here's to the moon, ®oth new
Here's to the past, present, and
to come ,
And here's to the magic in everyone, 1
With that, they all drank deeply,
then seating themselves, began to de-
vour the feast before them, Nells, >o,
drank deeply and partook of the much
needed cust|,. aa nce with great pleasure.
The food seemed unlimited. No -sooner had
one serving platter been emptied when it
was replaced by another.
As the sun completed its sunset, a
beautiful music began to play. All the
tables and chairs disappeared in haste
and the tiny people began to dance, some
on the ground, and some in the air,
Nells leaned back against a tree to watch
the spectacle. Another goblet of fine
wine was placed in his hand. Slowly, a
large silvery moon rose and hung straight
above, as if it had been commissioned to
shine just so to illuminate this glen of
wonder. The Boheims sparkled and glit-
tered as if they had a light within.
Sometime during the festivities, Nells
fell into a deep sleep and rested more
completely than ever before. The Bo-
heims covered him with a fine blanket, so
light it could hardly be felt, but so
warm it was all anyone would ever need.
In the morning, he awoke with the
clear rays of sun on his eyelids and a
basket of leftovers by his side, Nells
stood up and stretched. There was nothing
left of the night's festivities — • it
looked like any other glen, Nells
tossed the blanket in the basket and
headed back home, stepping through the
Impossible Thicket wh e re it parted for
Upon reaching home, Nells ate from
the basket and prepared to work. He
felt better than he had in ages, refreshed
with no nagging hunger pains, /.s ,he
painted, he found his ability to concen-
trate was much improved and was soon lost
in his work.
And so it continued for many days.
Each time Nells was hungry, he ate from
the basket which never was empty of food.
At the end of the week, Nells began to
feel quite puzzled by the basket. He
also began to notice that his easel and
the tables seemed higher than they had
been before. By the end of the second
week, it became obvious that Hells was
shrinking. He could barely reach the
table tops. It had to be the doing of
the Boheims , thought Nells angrily, and
something had to be done about it.
He headed to the glen where the par-
ty had been. It took much longer tlr'
ti ia a because of his shorter legs, 1..e
Impossible Thicket did not part for him
as it had before, and was so much high-
er. He pushed and pulled at the bushes,
but could not get through, "Sethi" he
shouted, "let me ini A terrible thing is
happening and I know it's your fault!
Sethi".,; . .
He yelled and yelled. Finally, 3 2th
appeared over the thicket,, He smiled at
Hells as though nothing Was changed,
"I/hat a nice surprise ," said Seth,
"but what on earth are you yelling about?"
"What an I yelling about?" yelled
Hells, "look at me! I'm a midget!"
"You're not a midget." said Seth,
"you're halfway to becom^ag a Beheim, "
"But I don't T7ant to be a Boheim,
I'm a person! How dare you do this to .
"There is a solution to the problem,
if you wish to take it," said Seth, "But
give it much thought before you decide.
Being a Boheim is not so bad. It's quite
good really. You would be able to use
your creative abilities with complete free-
dom. There would be no concern for sales
or food or supplies. Our supplies are un-
limited and magical. Hot everyone is gi-
ven this opportunity, only those of out-
standing talent like yourself. You would
of course, look like me, which is really
quite attractive, I think,
"If, however, your human form is so
important to you, you have only to $%&p
eating the leftovers in the Bountiful Bas-
ket we gave you and return it to us with
the Fine Blanket, and your life will re-
turn to what it was. You will then never
be able to return to our glen again. Too
much of the magic from our food has en-
tered your body. The moment you enter
our glen you change into a Boheim, Go
home now and give it much thought. This
decision can only be made once, I will
come to you in a few days. In the mean-
time, you will find the Bountiful Basket
empty, as any further ingestion of its
contents would take the decision from
• Nells returned home. He was hungry
from his long walk. He Trent to the bas-
ket ,- but it was empty, as Goth had said
it would be. There was nothing el o i;i
the house. He sat and thought. If he
were a Boheim, he would not be able to
go just anyplace. He'd have to ctay in
the glen. That didn't really bother
him too much. He preferred to be with
nature. It might be nice to fly. All
he really wanted to do was be able co
paint. But he would be so small. And
so Nells' thoughts wandered for the next
few days. He was quite hungry by the
time Seth arrived,
"I have brought you food," said
Seth, "I did not realize you were com-
pletely without. Your decision must be
based on what you truly desire and not
on hunger. This is not Boheim food, and
will only affect your hunger. Sat and
rest, I will stay with you until your
answer is ready. Please take your time,"
Seth then removed himself from
Nells' presence and sat on the window
sill where he did not move.
The next day, Nells went through
the Impossible Thicket and became a
member of the Boheim tribe, where he
lived a long and fulfilling life.
The threadbare cape of the peasant
hung limply upon his bent and bony shoul-
ders. Old Danforth was on his 'way home
from market with a few pennies in his
pocket. Slowly, he chuff led into the soft
stillness of the forest,
Danforth' s cottage was yet several
more miles do\m the road, and he was feel-
ing tired. He sank do\m beside the path
and rested his weary back against a mossy
In the waning light, Danforth did not
notice a tiny green Elfin shoe protruding
from a clump of ferns,
"I'll just rest here a moment," Dan-
forth said, but the soothing nature of the
forest began to work its magic, and he
was soon fast asleep,
Trodka, a kindhearted elf, emerged
from his hiding place and surveyed the
"Aye, it's a miserable life for some
of this human lot," he said sympatheti-
cally, as he gazed at Danforth' s work-
worn hands and tattered clothes,
Trodka fussed about the man in tiny
elfin leaps, assessing his condition.
With a quick gesture of his hands, rays
of greenish hue burst from Trodka' s fin-
gertips and wrapped the man' s slumbering
form in a subtle emerald glow.
While the healing rays worked their
wizardry, Trodka concentrated his mind's
eye to "cee" Danforth' s small cottage
with its floxrer bed in front and field
behind. The elf checked the soil con-
dition and sensed that it was fertile,
but needed a small trace element for
better plant growth,
Trodka took a tiny peek into the
nan's destiny, sax/ the visit to co'.^e,
and resolved to do something about it,
The Helper, continued
"You nust go down to the beach and
gather sea weed for the field," Trodka
whi-pered three times into the deeping
"Plant barley," Trodka again whis-
pered three times into the man's ear.
Then, Trodka withdrew, as dawn would soon
be upon the forest.
When Danforth awoke, a shaft of yel-
low sunlight was warming his limbs , the
birds were singing and he was surprised
at how fit he felt.
With a whistle on his lips, and a
new contentment in his heart, Danforth
sauntered toward home,, Although he was a
poor peasant, he felt better about his
During supper, Danforth said to his
wife, "Sarah, I believe I will go down to
the beach tomorrow and gather some sea
weed for the field. Perhaps it will help
So he did, and the barley was plant-
ed and it grew lush in the happy summer
While Danforth tended the field of
barley, Sara tended her herb and flower
garden. In front of their humble cottage
it grew in joyful profusion.
Trodka moved into the gnarled and
ancient maple beside the barley field, and
kept busy popping in and out of both field
and garden, tending the plants with the
love only the wee ones can conjure — and,
helping as best he could to prepare for
the visit which was to come.
Before long, the promise that was
spring became the plentitude of -all.
Danforth and Sarah bustled about the farm,
harvesting the herbs and barley, which
would be used to make the tea and cakes
to help pass the long winter evenings.
Both Sarah and Danforth sensed the
delightful magic that Trodka had woven a-
bout their cottage, and were happy.
As Sarah hung her herbs on the raft-
ers above the stone fireplace, she mar-
veled at their beauty and abundance. "If
I didn't know better, I'd say these herbs
had the kiss of an elf upon them," she
Once, when Danforth had gone quietly
to his morning tasks, he saw a floppy red
hat leaping joyfully between the tall rows
of ripening grain. 3y the time he got to
that pert of the field, though, Trodka,
who had a bit of imp in h~c personality,
had become only a cloud of -ust and a tiny
x ilting laugh.
Ta.e summer' had not passed so happily
m the jeweler's household in the next
village, however. The jeweler's daughter
had become ill with a ^daess for life aid
would not smile or take part in any di-
versions her distraught father pljmxied
The unhappy father had even gone to
see the local sorceress £> >r advice, but
&Uc% r t<y<y , KT'*- J n*- : ** in?**-'* f*^lg*^- A -t~f ■--*'-- ivfr f->-~.
pering incantations for a half hour, burn-
ing a white candle, than a b"i r . c k one,
she muttered, "Though barley cake will
heal the body, I fear it can have no
effect upon the illness of the spirit."
One lovely fall day, though", the
jeweller resolved to try once more to
cheer his direfully depressed daughter
by taking her on a carriage ride ^- 'jgh
the cornucopic countryside.
Although it offered a panoranr of
sea and sky. the ride only made his dau-
The young girl sat resplendent in
the carriage: her silks rustling in the
light breeze, jewels glox/ing upon her
neck, and tiny golden rings adorning her
fingers — - but not a spark of life in
She looked at the countryside with
a disinterested shrug, until the car-
riage passed the Danforth cottage. The
very air about the home seemed per-
meated with happiness.
The daughter saw a smiling Sarah in
her coarse cotton dress bending care-
fully among her berbs and flowers and
her curiosity became aroused.
"Father, may we stop and see the
garden?" the child asked.
"A peasant hovel," the father
sniffed, but he was so happy that his
daughter had showed even a tiny interest
that he agreed to stop.
Danforth and Sarah met the couple
in the dooryard and welcomed them shy-
ly. The young girl was so enthralled
with the flower and herb garden that
Sarah began to tell her some of the se-
crets she had learned from the wondrous
At first the girl could not under-
stand how these poor peasants could be
so genuinely happ}'.
"How can you be happy without silks- ::
the girl asked.
"'My silk is the touch of a flower
upon my cheek," Sarah replied. "And the
colors are more brilliant than any wea-
ver 1 s."
"What about jewels?" the girl ask-
ed, still persistent.
"Hy jewels are finer than any
Queen's," Sarah said. "I have the sap-
phire °f the sparkling sea and the em-
erald of the forest."
. "Gold?" the girl asked.
"Hy gold is the ripening grain,"
Sarah said. "In the winter, my hunger is
for grain, not gold," she added with
Meanwhile, the jeweler had discov-
ered that Danforth had a surplus of faar-'
ley and remembering the witch's words,
he purchased some to have mace in'~ > bar-
By the tine the jeweler am! tfaufg&^stC
departed, the girl wag. .Lau2?fc£o(g p, ■" '-''!■
---,-/-/ r'*-- • ^■■■-■■-uf ?...»«-. >««■ *r» i'.u-<<z of these cir>-
The Helper, continued
pie folk who had succeeded where all his
gold had failed.
"How can I repay you for your good-
ness?" the jeweller asked.
Danforth and Sarah assured the jewel-
ler that the satisfaction of having helped
another was recompense enough.
The jeweller and daughter departed,
promising to return again soon.
Trodka had witnessed the entire
scene and was quite pleased as well. He
surprised Danforth and Sarah by leaping
upon an old oak log and singing:
"Simple joys are the best
A summer day, a sparkling sea
A butterfly gay, a buzzing bee,
The search for self ends when we
Learn the joy of how just to bo."
Sarah and Danforth were honored to
see the elf's performance because it
was widely known in the forest that only
the pure of heart can see en elf.
Later, after the sun had set, Sarah
crept quietly out to the old maple ti ^e
and left a special treat for the kir i-
hearted elf: a new pair of green elf
shoes — with bells on the toes»
An elfin song, a robin's nest
The screen door banged shut and a-
nother customer came out of Proctor's
store counting his change. Russel Dean
stood beside the large, dirt-caked win-
dow and watched him walk away. As the
man dropped the coins into his pocket,
Russel * wished that one or two of them
would miss the opening and fall noise-
lessly onto the broad gravel driveway.
Or that the man had holes in his pock-
ets as Russel did. But it did not hap-
Once again, Russel thruot his small
fist into the left pocket of his worn
jeans, and again the small fingers felt
the slit along the bottom that had al-
lowed his savings of two weeks to slip
away unnoticed and unfelt.
He cursed, using the worst word he
could think of at the moment. "Darn!"
He cursed the hole in his pocket, he
cursed the store for charging nonsy for
things that people needed or wanted to
play with, he cursed himself for not keep-
ing the coins in his hand, and he cursed
the world for being so unfair. His plans
for a wonderful, battle-filled summer
were demolished, lost with the money.
Now there was the whole summer ahead and
nothing to fill those long, hot hours.
Russel started toward the old wooden
screen door of the whitewashed, cinder-
block store and almost went inside for
another look at the clear plastic bag of
Civil War soldiers he had been coveting
for weeks. He knew exactly where they lay;
on the second shelf next to the cans of
coup, among the balloons and plastic mo-
del cars. He had come to know every sol-
dier in the bag, the positions they were
frozen into, and how he would place them
in the dirt of the tiny yard beside his
trailor home. He had even named some of
them. But his money was all gone, lost,
and he did not go in.
YOU ORT TO KNOW
I have a friendly ort
who lives beneath my bed.
he scurries amongst the fuzzballs there
in a home of lint and dirty socks.
My ort is very rarely seen,
but can be heard most every night.
He thumps and clicks,
he bumps and ticks,
he booms and bangs,
he moans and groans.
I've never really seen my ort,
but I know he ' s there
but I know he • s there ,
oeneath my bed, amongst the fuzzballs there
He hadn't felt this badly since the
time his mother had promised to buy him
a surprise gift and it turned out not to
be a toy but five pairs of white cotton
Suddenly he began to think about
stealing them. It would be easy enough
to do if old man Proctor still owned the
store because he was going blind as well
hard of hearing* But last month his sen
had taken it over and knew exactly whure
everything was and what might be missing,
so when he called the police, he would
tell them to arrest a small, blond-haired
twelve-year-old boy who lived in the
trailor court next to the stone quarry,
and was named Dean.
Russel meandered across the broad
uneven gravel driveway, kicking at large
stones and rusty tin cans flattened by
the cars that parked there. He did not
look back at the grocery store; nor did
he retrace the path the meadow and corn-
field. He had spent an hour locking un-
der rocks and reaching into clunps of
tall grass seeking his money and had not
found a single coin. It was as though
Toy Soldiers, continued
all of then had fallen into a hole in the
earth and it had closed tightly over them.
He xrondered how it could have happened so
mysteriously, so completely.,
''Russel walked slowly toward his
trailor home without foe '^ag of soft plas-
tic soldiers, and without hope of ever be-
ing able to buy them soon. He wished that
school were starting tomorrow, so he could
skip buying lunch and start saving up all
When he realized how many days away
that school was , he nearly began to cry,
"It's not fair!" he sobbed alu^d.
"If c not fair at alii" .
Then he heard the sound of a car
shifting gears as it climbed the hill be-
hind him and had an impulse to work snne
kind of miracle, Russel told himself
hopefully, "If I reach the next telephone
pole before this car passes me, I'll find
. my money on the table at home , e , it'll
be there „ <, this has just been a bad
The car's engine began to fully ex-
ert itself and, just to be safe, Russel
increased his strides Though he didn't
dare turn around and spoil the magic, he
could feel the car closing the distance
The car crested the bill.
The pole wasn't that far away, but it
would be close, so Russel staated running
"On the table , , ,at home . . . on
He was almost to the pole when he
stumbled and tumbled headlong down the
The car left a thin cloud of dust
and litter floating in its wake*
For a long time, Russel did not move.
He wasn't injured very badly; his right
foot ached, but did not swells He just
lay there in the long stiff grass under
the hot June sun with the swarms of bugs
Finally, he moved and sat up, perspi-
ration dotting his forehead along the
hairline e He was thirsty, and it Was time
to continue homeward, Russel stood cau-
tiously, testing his ankle, but every-
thing was fine. He thought that to be
fitting — today his bones were invince-
able, but his feelings were as fragile
"That one didn't count," he rautteredo
But it had counted,, His magic had been
beaten, and once broken, he knew, like a
mirror it could never be put together
He climbed slowly up the embankment
and continued his sorrowful Walk to the
trailor court where he lived. He fre-
quently glanced over his shoulder at the
crest of the hill, listening for the
sound of another car, but the long,
straight road was entirely empty and
stayed that w'a.y for several minutes.
Then the only car traveling it was going
north, the other way, into Joliet.
Russel: ambled along the gravel shoul-
der, kicking a discarded beer can until
it skidded down the embankment in front
of the Hubbs' house, a massive two-story
brown house nestled under towering i . '.:
trees that shaded the front lawn, I . the
back was an apple orchard where Rusrel
stole apples all summer. The Hubbs. own-
ed nearly a full acre immediately next to
he trailor court, which they also owned,
Russel looked around the yard, but,
like everything else in the world thi^
morning, it was lifeless. Furtively
glancing at the curtained windows, he
started walking in the ruts of their
Mrs. Hubbs did not like the kids
from the trailor court using her land-
scaped yard as a short-cut and would not
hesitate to open the door and yell until
they went back to the highway. If the
warnings were ignored, she would threat-
en to throw them ^ut when the monthly
rent was due. But Russel went ahead
The Hubbs had a son, who, like Rus-
sel, was an only child, Jimmy was a
chubby, brown-haired boy who wore black-
framed, thick-lensed glasses. They
were the same age, in the same grade at
school , and sat beside each other, but
did not get along very veil, Jimmy was
always wearing new, clean clothes , had
many toys to play with, and never had
less than two dollars in his wallet,
Russel didn't even have a wallet.
This puzzled and angered Russel.
Why someone as dumb and fat and creepy
as Jimmy Hubbs should have all of these
things, especially when he did not want
most of them, and Russel couldn't afford
to buy the things he truly wanted.
Just where the driveway widened and
formed an easy el to the right in front
of the three-car garage, next to the
gnarled trunk of a massive oak, was the
large sandbox where Jimmy spent hours
playing. As Russel passed close by, he
noticed the abundance of toys laying
half-buried in the yellow sand. Shiny
new metal cars, plastic dinosaurs, and
green army soldiers were everywhere.
He stopped and gazed at them, want-
ing terribly to have just a few of the
soldiers and they would fit into the spe-
cial cigar box he kept hidden under his
bed. Besides, Jimmy would never miss
them. He had so much stuff that he
couldn't possibly remember it all.
Russel looked toward the hcus-e,
searching the windows for a face, but
saw none. It would be easy, all he had
to do was lean down quickly and scamper
away. Easy ;
His eyes darted nervously from the
house to the sandbox, then back to the
house. His heartbeat began to increase.
Toy Soldiers, continued
Again a look toward the house. He was en-
gulfed with a fever of energy.
He had "only to bend over . . .
"Hi ya, Russ!"
Rucsel was so startled that he near-
ly fell backward into the sandbox as he
whirled around .
"v7a';i2-ha been up to?? Jimmy asked ami-
ably, He was standing in the doorway
that led to the basement.
"Nothing," Russel answered, wonder-
ing if Jimmy, had done that on purpose,,
"Wanna go into my basement and help
me play with my new HO train set?"
Russel shrugged. He loathed Jimmy
for always parading his toys and expect-
ing everyone to «e impressed and want to
play with them,
"It's set up on n wooden table And
has buildings and cars and tiny people.
My dad got it for me because I passed
with good grades," Jimmy's eyes gleamed
and he gestured with his hand. "Come on,"
!, I seen a train set-up like that
downtown at Walt's Hobby Shop," Russel
said. He was wondering why Jimmy was
being so nice to him, and why Billy Kli-
ner wasn't around. They were always to-
gether, always* And when they were to-
gether, they wouldn't have the slightest
thing to do with a poor boy like himself,
except to taunt and torment him until he
lost his temper and fled in tearful anger
to his trailor, because he was too small
to fight them both,
Russel kept watching the basement
door for Kliner's sudden appearance.
Maybe he was hiding, waiting for Russel
to accept Jimmy's invitation,
"No," Russel told him,
"Aw . , c'mon It's real neat,"
Jimmy started to advance toward Russel,
Russel balled his hands into tight
fists. Today he would fight them J He
would call upon some unknoxm superhuman
power and smash Jimmy's pug nose, and
when Billy Kliner came charging up the
basement steps, he would flip him into
the grass and pounce on him, beating him
to a pulp Just like on TV,
Russel asked menacingly, "Where's
Jimmy shrugged. "I donno."
Russel stared at the basement door,
but it stayed empty,
"He's not here. Honest!" Jimmy pro-
Russel glanced across the highway at
the sprawling cluster of houses called
Preston Heights. Long rows of square
t Tr o and three bedroom houses stood close
to each other, differing only in shades
of color or landscaping. Billy Kliner
lived in the one directly across from
the Hubbs, and the back door was open.
Their car stood baking in the driveway B
"He's home. He . . . wouldn't come
over today," Jimmy pleaded., "I'm not
"Better not be," Russel 's
stance was still tense, wound tight like
an old clock, but as he searched Jimmy's
sorrowful face, his anger thinned, then
evaporated. He was confused by the dif-
fering emotions coursing through him.
One part of him wanted to play wi"': im-
my and his huge supply of toys, hl 2
even become close friends and be able to
play here all summer, but the other pert
reminded him that it would never happen*
Jimmy only wantedhim around to shot? off
to until Billy returned, which would be
A thought began to gel in Russel 's
mind. Billy was home, but they weren't
together — neither here or across the
highway at Billy's — which could mean
only one of two things: they had an ar-
gument (impossible); or Perky was prowl-
ing about and they were afraid of being
Russel grinned. This sudden dis-
covery couldn't pass without comment.
"Perky lookin' for ya?"
"Noi" Jimmy squawked, involuntarily
taking a quick look behind the trailor
court, at the dull silver one where
"Yes he is. Or you'd be pla3 7 ing
with Billy," Russel sneered in delight.
Anger boil e d visibly in J?mmy's
"Well „ . , so are you!"
"I aint," Russel taunted- "Me And
Perky 're friends."
But that wasn't quite true, 2very-
one at Laraway School was afraid of Per-
ky, even teachers. Perky, also known
as Wayne Perkins, was the oldest, big-
gest, and meanest kid in eighth grade,.
He wan trouble. He ruled the playground
by force and to resist was to invite
disaster. Russel trembled whenever Per-
ky shouted his name and came stomping
his way. He would slump and cower like
a whipped pup in Wayne's presence, an-
swering any question, telling him any
secret he knew, because he couldn't stop
himself. But Russel had little to wor-
ry about. He was much too small for
Wayne to bother expanding a tiny amount
of energy on. He was a mere pilot fish
that flitted around the great white
"I bet," Jimmy answered.
"Wayne don't bother me."
They stood a few feet apart, star-
ing. Both had something the other need-
ed. Jimmy needed someone to show his
possessions to and Russel needed to know
how it felt to own things. Thej'' shared
mutual feelings of loneliness and frus-
tration. Russel knew he shouldn't be
ao abrasive, but the disappointment of
losing his money, and the molded plas-
tic soldiers, was overwhelming, burst-
ing out of him. He would do nearly any-
Toy Soldiers, continued
thins to get those soldiers, including
..being a buddy to Jimmy Hu.bbs,
Finally, Jimmy admitted it.
"I wish Perky would leave me alone,"
- he. said, remembering the last weeks of
school when Perky bullied him every day.
It had been a tormentingly long time, and
seemed to be starting again, already,, "I
-wish he would go away for a long, long
time . . . forever o I'd give anything."
He paused, "I wish he'd die!"
A galvanizing shock suddenly struck
Russel, a scheme clicked to life inside
his heado He had overheard a conversation
between two teachers discussing Wayne, who
was flunking again (at the end of the
term) and warned him. So Russel felt that
a favor was owed to him in return, and if
Wayne could be persuaded to leave Jimmy
alone for a few weeks , ... visions of
Civil War battles once again danced in his
"What if I could fix it so that Per-
ky would leave you alone. What would you
"You can't," Jimmy replied. "He
hates me too nflich*"
"Yes I can," Russel lied. Anything
for those soldiers*
"How?" Jimmy demanded,
Russel shrugged, "I just can*"
Then he had another idea, one that
would surely work if this angle proved
fruitless. He would threaten to tell
Perky that Jimmy wished him dead! He
grinned, he had Jimmy in the perfect spot,
"Why would he let you tell him what
"Okay," Russel said, starting to
walk away. "If you don't want my help ."
"Wait!" Jimmy said loudly, his eyes
behind the thick lenses pleading. "Why
would you do that for me?"
"You said you'd give anything to be
rid of Perky, didn't you?"
Jimmy hesitated, wary of what "any-
thing" consisted of. He had lots and lots
of possessions, many that he loved and ne-
ver allowed anyone else tc touch. He
vJ "ould not part with those for any reason.
"Well „ . . not anything. What ...
would you want?"
Russel glanced at the sandbox. "All
those soldiers , , . and a dollar."
The small fee puzzled Jimmy, He had
expected Russel to ask for his train set
or something equal in value. He had for-
gotten the soldiers that lay scattered in
"Don't got a dollar," he bargained.
"Half the army men, and I pick them
"Mo dice." Russel was beginning to
hate Jimmy very deeply. He could picture
the beating Perky would give him and he
would make sure he saw it.
"Okay," Jimmy whispered. He was
trapped and just wanted to >e lejft alone*
Perky roamed freely, his parents not ca-
ring where he went, and he often crossed
the highway into the subdivision where
Billy lived. Eventually, Jimmy knew,
he would be caught and hurt. He was a
prisoner in his own yard. He would try
anything, even listen to this runt.
After his mother left for work,
Russel sat on the wide, weathered, wood-
en step in front of his trailor door
watching, one aisle over, where Perky
and his dad worked on their car. The
sky was dark and star-speckled, the
temperatures perfect, but Russel wasn't
enjoying it like he usually did. The
deal had keen made, the soldiers were
stashed in the cigar box under his bed,
yet, unless he came up with some con-
vincing reasons for Perky, he would have
to give them back in a few days. Jimmy
promised to pay the dollnr when he got
Russel realized that he had a great-
er obstacle to overcome than he first
thought. There was something between
Perky and Jimmy that he couldn't under-
stand, something sinister on Perky' s
part. Russel could see it in his eyes
whenever Jimmy was near. He seemed to
get satisfaction, evil satisfaction, from
picking on Jimmy, and needed to do it
Perhaps he should forget the whole
thing and not risk having Perky get
mad and turn on him instead. But in all
of his life, Russel had never wanted any-
thing as badly as those Civil War sol-
Russel thought of the hole in his
pocket and the hot lunches he had
skipped at school to save the money.
His stomach had growled and grumbled
every day, aching dully in the late af-
ternoon, but he had succeeded, Then,
in the grass of the cow pasture behind
Jimmy's house, he lost the coins . . .
He couldn't ask his mother for the
money because there was never anything
left after the rent was paid and the
groceries bought. A hundred things came
before toy soldiers. Maybe she would
bring home another nice man to stay a
few days, like the tall, skinny guy
last summer who gave him a dollar for no
reason. He wished he had that dollar
His heart was aching much more than
his belly ever had.
Illuminated only by the light of
the dx-opcord under the car, Perky and his
dad looked like grease— mottled ghoctf
as they moved from the car to the tool-
box and back in their efforts to ke~p
the thing running. Their trailer vas
Parallel to the edge of the Hubbs' pro-
Toy Soldiers, continued
perty, the car sat on the concrete slab
raised on a hydraulic jack,,
Russel watched them working for sev-
eral long minutes o Everything was going
wrong o Perky had to be convinced to stop
bullying Jimmy, but he had nothing to of-
fer in return for that promise., Black-
mailing Jimmy about wanting Perky dead
wouldn't work either. He knew Jimmy would
tell and get him in more trouble,, His
plan didn't seem so brilliant now„
Russel arose, walking silently on his
worn sneakers, keeping himself in the sha-
dows, but meandering in a wide circuit to-
wards the Perkins' trailor. His wander-
ings ended under the canopy of budding ap-
ple trees on the Hubbs property, directly
behind the trailor, LyinG on his stomach
in the uncut cool grass he could see them
working, struggling with things Russel had
never known existed, or fathom their use.
It was funny to watch and listen to them.
They yelled and swore at each other , Ev-
erything seemed to be going wrong and Per-
ky was getting the blame Just like those
f u nny men on TV,
After a few minutes, Russel left the
cover of the trailor, the drop-cord snak-
ing out the open door. Perky and his fa-
ther were completely submerged under the
rusting automobile, unaware of anything
except what they were wrestling with. The
car was supported only by the hydraulic
jack, its handle within easy reach, Rus-
sel wondered what might happen if he gave
a slow twist and lowered it, 3et there
would be some fast action then! They'd
crawl out like a couple of scared gophers i
Of course s he would have to hide in
a much better place, so they wouldn't
find him and realize what he'd done. So,
during the excitement; he would curl up
behind the wheels where the darkness was
thickest and go home through the Hubbs'
and the pasture when the excitement was
All he had to do was stretch out a
little and turn the handle like he had
when he played with it once-
And the car would come down,,
"Maybe, just maybe," Russel thought,
"If it came down just right, it would do
sc n ething to Perky,, Hurt him badly enough
to keep him away from Jimmy for a while,
so I could keep the money and the army
Harold Perkins wriggled from beneath
the car and told W>yne that he was going
into 'the house -to eat and that Wayne was
to finish bolting something together.,
Russel froze until he could hear the
heavy tread through the floor of the
trailor„ The only noises to be hea~ a
were the ones Perky made with his
All he had to do was reach out a
bit and turn and hope for the best.,
Just one sharp twist , . ,
Mr s Dean was a Qmall, thin woman,,
Worn plain from lnng hours of waiting
on tables at the Paradise Restaurant and
escaping her monotonous situation in
bottles of whiskey and a few sympathetic
"You be good tonight, huh, Russy,"
she said, smoothing a wr inkle in her
Russel was deeply engrossed in set-
ting up his soldiers in the tufts of
weeds that passed for grass, dead to the
"Did you hear me, Russy?"
"Uhnnn „ . »ya,"
"There's some beef stew in the ice
box for you to warm up later for cupper "
No answer ,
"Where ' d you get all those little
men?"' S ^- G asked, not really concerned
listerias ■••for the beeping of her ride's
"From Jimmy Hubbs, He gave em to
"Why'd he do that?"
"I did him a favor,"
The horn blared on the
"Well, watch yerself 9
what happened to the Perkins boy to hap-
pen to yoUo" She mussed his hair lov-
ingly. He was all 5 he had that matter-
ed and she felt sorry that nothing
seemed to ever get better for the two of
"It won't ever happen to me, Mom,"
he said truthfully.
Then she was gone until a very long
time after dark,
Russel went back to his war, deploy-
ing the soldiers around the clumps of .
tough grass and into the holes he had
scratched in the hard-packed dirt with
a bent soup spoon. He was sorry that
Perky had died two days after the car
had fallen on him, but that's how life
was. Besides, it had completely solved
hi s problem.
I don ' t want
THE ADVENTURES OF ROWDY RYDER
Rowdy 'Ryder was a cox/boy bold, he travelled far and wide,
His hat was white, his saddle red, with blue stars on the sides.
Economy was his horse's name, a tired, beaten nag,
A scornful st&ed, she was indeed, whose middle seemed to sag,
The Adventures of Rowdy Ryder, continued
So Rowdy vent a riding, and adventured all around,
"I've got to prove," caid he with groove,
"I'm the meanest dude in toxm. "
So ride he did along the trail, and heard a noise so weird,
That he turned around, and on the ground was an old guy with a beart.
"Who are you?" asked Rowdy. The old man leered an d said,
"Crush rock and roll and mini-skirts, or I'll chop off your head. 1 "
He wore a night black turbin and his eyes were filled with hete.
Quoth he, "My name is Allah, and I own the Golden Gate!"
"And down with Women's Lib!" he raved, while standing on his head,
"Repress their civil liberties and give them veils instead!"
And gesturing at Mecca, he said, "Nov/ it's time to pray!"
"I like your costume, Hopalong, now run along and play!"
Rowdy muttered audibly, and started down the trail.
"The old man's nuts," he said aloud, "I can't hit that old frail."
So Rowdy rode along aways and saw the. queerest sight.
A frog with a tin cup clutched in -^and was standing on the righto
"Spare a nickel?" asked the frog, and to his utter glee,
Rowdy dropped into the vessel not just one, but three.,
"Thank you," said the frog, and then did something rather trite.
He t ur ned crimson color, crossed the road, and fled from sights
"This is bizarre," said Rowdy, "but the fellow was in need."
"And I must preserve my image of a nice guy with good deeds."
So he spurred on the Economy and hastened down the road,
Ever wary on the lookout for a loaded crimson toado
When suddenly, out of the bushes, there came a monstrous roar,
Like the bu Z2 ing of some chainsaws, maybe forty, maybe more!
And there emerged a giant carnivore, a grizzly bear by name
Its coat was red, its claws were sharp,
And set to kill and maim
Rowdy Ryder drew his six gun, covering the bear,
And said, "Now don't you move ai„ inch, you just stay put right there."
Well, the bear just sort of chuckled, and he said, "Now, let
Me see, how many of your bones could I possibly break
Before you put six shots in me?"
Rowdy weighed his choices and decided with a frown,
"I am the meanest!" he proclaimed. "No bear will stare me down!"
So he aimed his six-gun carefully. (So the bear was in the way)
They Rowdy pulled the trigger and the x/hole world went away.
k t J *.r....T....»_..LvJU*.U *Tj
fO §£AT WORDS kZ
liALlR UE&D 13 Fill i
yolM UE&P !3Fui L
juR WoROS AMD -
it pogs'Mr RE&U-M £V$f/